II 1 i ill 1 !ii I 11^ !^ 11 !l 111 III pi ill I! V ii I ill 11! 1 ! I mA iiiii' I If liir IMM: CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY DATE DUE r rj^- ■^^^^ T^ /" lAM u 6 IS9Z i » ■ GAYLORD PRINTEDINU.S.A. Cornell University Library HN31 .B33 The social task,,offfiia8 ! olln "■""924 030 246 239 The original of tliis book is in tine Cornell University Library. There are no known copyright restrictions in the United States on the use of the text. http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924030246239 The Social Task of Christianity THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY A Summons to the New Crusade By SAMUEL ZANE BATTEN, D. D. Professor of Social Science, Des Moines College Chairman Social Service Commission Northern Baptist Convention New York Chicago Toronto Fleming H. Revell Company London and Edinburgh Copyright, 191 1, by FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY / New York: 158 Fifth Avenue Chicago: 123 North Wabash Ave. Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. London: 21 Paternoster Square Edinburgh: loo Princes Street To The one, who standing by my side in shadow and sunshine, has divided the burdens and multiplied the joys, The Mother of our Children, This book is gratefully dedicated There is in human affairs one order which is best. That order is not always the one which exists ; but it is the order which should exist for the greatest good of humanity. God knows it and wills it ; man's duty it is to discover and es- tablish it. — Emile DeLaveleye. Foreword IT is admitted by all students of human affairs that the present age is a time of crisis and change. It is even confessed by many Christian thinkers that the present generation will in aU probabihty constitute a turning point of human history, and may determine the fortunes of Christianity for a thousand years. Whether men are aware of it or not the existing social order is dissolving before their eyes ; and many things indicate that the forms in which men have known re- ligion are dissolving in the general dissolution. This does not mean that the reign of anarchy is at hand or that chaos is about to come again. But it does mean that the old forms of society and the old formulas of religion no longer can contain the life and express the faith of to-day. This is certain that the ideas and ideals which inspired the fathers and determined the scale of their thought and faith are passing, if they have not already passed. The motives and methods which once guided their efforts and expressed their devotion are no longer adequate for the new world which is ris- ing out of the ruins of the old. In sober truth it may be said that Christianity is passing through the most momentous crisis of its long history ; and if the churches fail to read the signs of the times, or if they misread them, they will forfeit their election and lose the allegiance of mankind. This little book, written with this crisis and oppor- 7 8 FOREWORD tunity in view, has a twofold object. It seeks, first, to appraise the changes that are taking place in the world and to interpret the will of God for this generation as it is revealed in the processes of human society. And it seeks, second, to define the special task to which the Christian discipleship is now fairly committed, and to suggest the program and method by which the purpose of God as expressed in Jesus Christ shall become a PACT in the life of humanity. It is written in the con- fidence that Christianity is essentially a social religion, that the kingdom of God in the Christian conception of things never means anything less than a human so- ciety on earth, that the supreme task before the men of good- will to-day is the creation of a better and more Christian type of human society, that the needs of the world in this time demand that men's personal, social, industrial and political life as a whole be transformed and Christianized, that, in a word, the superlative duty of men to-day is the Christianization of Christendom. If religion means a knowledge of the goal and of the means which lead to it, no inquiry can be more perti- nent than that here undertaken. If Christianity to be the final religion must be adequate to the largest tasks, then it can only carry off from the great debate of the world's religions the prize of the world's allegiance as it actually builds a human society after the divine order. " Of making of books there is no end." The only excuse that one can offer in this time when books are pouring in a veritable Niagara from the press lies in the fact that he has something to say which no one else has said. The social question as it is called is in the air to-day, and many books are being written upon FOKEWOKD 9 it in some of its aspects. Thus far, however, no book, so far as I am aware, approaches this question from the side here indicated ; nor is there any book which shows the relation of the present crisis in religion to the so- cial task of Christianity. The book aims to be suggest- ive rather than exhaustive at any point. It does not pretend to give a complete and formal program of so- cial salvation or to define aU of the methods of social action. At this hour of the morning the great need is a sense of direction for the day's march, a definite idea of the day's task, and a clear understanding of the factors and forces of social progress. The author nowhere as- sumes or implies that social service is the whole of Christianity ; but he does insist that it is a vital and essential part of the Christian's commission. The Christian Spirit will continue to inspire men in personal work with individuals ; it will stiU impel men to build Christian churches and create Christian homes ; it will no doubt awaken in men a deeper and more consuming interest in missionary activity. But beyond all of these things, in part their fulfillment and in part their condi- tion, it will impel men to arise and build a Christian order of human society. It is impossible for any writer to untwist the thread of his thought and trace every strand back to its orig- inal source. It is impossible therefore for any writer to mention by name aU of the friends and writers who have helped him in the development of his thought. In some cases direct reference is given in the text to sources and authorities. At the end of each chapter a brief bibliography is given of those to whom the writer is indebted and to whom the reader is referred for further study. But to his Comrades of the Brother- 10 FOREWORD hood of the Kingdom the writer owes a debt which cannot be paid in words. The many delightful hours spent in conference and inquiry on the hilltop near Marlborough-on-the-Hudson have meant much to one man in the clarifying of his thought and the intensify- ing of his convictions. Most gladly, therefore, does he acknowledge his immeasurable indebtedness to the Comrades of the Brotherhood of the Kingdom. S. Z. B. JDes Moines, Iowa. Contents I. The Past Achievements and the Present Task ..... • ^3 The Achievements of Christianity — The Present Situation. II. The New Age and Its Problems . . 33 The Social Problem — The Preservation of the Unfit— The Failure of Individual Effort— The Solidarity of Humanity. III. The Social Nature of Christianity . 64 The Kingdom of God on Earth — The Christian Conception of the Kingdom — The Ideal of the Kingdom and the Quality of its Life — The Perfect Man in the Perfect Society. IV. The Program of Social Salvation . . 84 The Need of a Positive Program — The Program of Christianity — The Salvation of the Whole Man — The Christianization of the Institutions of Man's Life and their Enlistment in the Work of Social Redemption — The Conscious Effort to Build a Christian Social Order. V. The Method of Social Action . 133 The Economic Basis of the Spiritual Life — The Provision for All of the Conditions of a Full and Human Life — The Conscious and Collect- ive Effort to Save Society — The Creation of a Good Atmosphere — The Mobilizing of the Men of Good Will. 12 CONTENTS VI. The Crisis and the Opportunity . .184 The New Credentials of the Gospel — The Real Nature of Christianity — The New En- thusiasm for the Kingdom — The New Victo- ries for the Kingdom. Appendix ....... 229 The Social Service Program. Index 231 The Social Task of Christianity THE PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND THE PEESENT TASK CHRISTIANITY, as Rothe suggests, is the least immutable thing in the world ; and this is its peculiar glory. The words that the Master has spoken are spirit and they are life ; His truth is a seed and not a crystal. Geometry is a fixed science, but Christianity is not geometry. By the nature of the case Christianity is not something that can be settled once for all in some mould of doctrine, some form of words, some institution of society. It is a new light in every seeing eye, a new experience in every human life, a new power in every generation. The ever-living vine of God is producing every new season the ever-new wine of the Gospel ; and so long as the vine produces the new wine that long we shall need new skins for its reception and preservation. The divine Spirit is ever taking of the things of Christ and is showing them unto men ; and so long as the Spirit has anything to communicate and men have anything to learn of Christ, that long we may expect new illustrations of the Chris- tian spirit, new applications of the Christian principles and new results in Christian lives. It takes a Jesus to comprehend a Jesus. 13 14 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY The God in whom Christians believe is the living God. He is the God of Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, to be sure; He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ also ; but no less He is the God and Cap- tain of men to-day, as He will be the Leader and Guide of men to-morrow. The infinite God is infinitely at work at every moment of time in every part of His universe. The God who spake unto the fathers by the prophets is the God who is speaking unto their children in His providences. The God who called men and wrought in the world yesterday is the same God who calls men and works in the world to-day. Men may be content to live on a past reputation, but God is not. Men may be satisfied to repeat the deeds of the fathers, but the Eternal never repeats. Ever and for- ever He is working some new works on every day of history. The things that have been are hence not the things that shall be. God is ever at work in His world, going before His people, opening new doors of oppor- tunity, setting them new tasks, asking new fruits and making all things new. By the very necessities of the case the task of men yesterday is not the task of men to-day. By the nature of the case the fruits of yester- day wHl not satisfy the life of to-morrow. The life of to-day must live by the faith of to-day. The faith of to-day cannot be sustained by the evidences of yester- day. Faith in God is something more than a tradition well learned ; faith in God is a fresh and vital experi- ence. Ever and again the Living Christ is making all things new. For nineteen hundred years the Gospel of Christ has been preached and the Spirit of Christ has been at work in the world. It is not germane to our purpose to in- PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 15 quire how far this preaching of the Gospel has fully rep- resented the mind of Christ. But it may be said with- out fear of contradiction that the Good News of God has been proclaimed in part at least and some of the truth as it is in Christ has been known. There are some ele- ments that are never found in a pure state in nature but always in combination with some other substances. They have such an affinity for these substances that it is with diflficulty they can be separated at all. What we call Christianity is so vital that it never can be found apart from life itself ; it comes to us in life and it ex- presses itself through life, and it cannot be separated from its human media and viewed by itself. This being so it is more or less subject to the chances and changes and limitations of our human apprehension, our growing thought and our social development. The frank recognition of this fact will save us from much perplexity at the beginning and much confusion at the end. Nor is it necessary for us to consider how far the work of the churches in these nineteen centuries has fully realized the purpose of the reigning Christ. That great things have been done in the name of Christ all history abundantly testifies. That the work done has fallen far short of the purpose of the reigning Christ we must all sadly admit. For nineteen centuries the Son of Man has been with us ; and yet men have not fully known Him. For sixty generations His Spirit has been at work in the world ; but very seldom has He been able to do His mighty works. Instead of debat- ing whether Christianity has failed, we may well ask whether it has really been tried. And yet with it aU in these Christian centuries great things have been 16 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY achieved by the Christian spirit, and no one who reads history aright will mininiize these great achievements. It is impossible here to describe these Oesta Christi in detail ; but four aspects of these achievements may be briefly noted. I. The Achievements of Cheistianitt 1. The Christian spirit dwelling in men has created the finest and highest type of personal morality and saintly life. Christianity arose in an age of the world that was noted for the lowness of its moral ideal and for the demoralization of society. These things are clearly reflected in the lurid pages of the historian and the bitter satires of the poets. It was an epoch in which the horror and degradation have rarely been equalled and perhaps never exceeded in the annals of mankind.' But in that dismal time the Spirit of Christ, like a new creative spirit, brooded over the abyss of degradation, and lo, a new tjrpe of manhood stood erect with face upturned to heaven and seeking after the highest perfection. Before long the Christians were noted for their pure lives and their loving service, and even their enemies were compelled to mark and ad- mire. In the progress of the centuries this ideal of human life has developed and unfolded, and new aspects of the Great Ideal have been seen and loved. To-day the ideal of Christianity in its personal aspects at least is well known and widely honoured. "Without fear Christianity can point to the lives of men and women as illustrations of its power to transform lives and to create a distinctive type of Christian character. In saying this we do not mean that the Spirit of ' Farrar, "The Early Days ol Christianity," Chapter I. PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 17 Chiist has produced its full results or that this new type of character has been fully realized. As a matter of fact the Christian life is set on an ascending scale and man is always going on from less to more and from lower to higher. In men, in Christian men, in the best of men, there are always some things to be cast off, some advances to be made, some new attainments to be desired. At best the Christian life is an approxima- tion, and the Christian is one who is becoming perfect. In an old Bible that belonged to Oliver Cromwell has been found this inscription: O. C. 1644 — Qui cessat esse melior cessat esse bonus — He who ceases to be bet- ter ceases to be good. In harmony with this was Martin Luther's maxim — He who is a Christian is no Christian. And in saying this we do not mean that the Chris- tian type of character is so unique that nothing like it has ever appeared outside the range of conscious Christian influences. As a matter of fact among all peoples and in other religions there have been men and women whose lives shine with a divine beauty and bear comparison with the finest Christian saints. The Shu king of China, Buddha and Zoroaster, Epictetus and Confucius, are the pride of the human race, and show the upward possibilities of mankind. And yet when all is said it remains true that there is a type of character unique and distinctive that may fittingly be called Christian. 2. The Christian spirit dweUing in men has created the Christian family. As every one knows Christian- ity arose at a time when the marriage bond was lightly esteemed and society seemed to be dissolving. But in that time of social corruption Christianity began 18 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY its changeful and yet triumphant career, and soon its effects are noticed ia the home. The home life of the Christians was remarkable for its purity and stability, and the decay in society was arrested where it was not cured. In course of time a type of family life came into existence that in the truest sense may be called Christian. To-day there is a type of family life known the world over as the Christian type. This is the second great achievement of the Christian spirit ; and the Christian family gives men new hope for the world. Here again ia speaking of the Christian family we do not mean to imply that it is only in Christian lands that we find a high and beautiful type of family life. In all times, among all peoples, the one man has loved the one woman and the one woman has loved the one man ; parents have loved their children and have lived for their welfare ; children have honoured and obeyed their parents, and brothers and sisters have dwelt to- ' gether in joy and peace and have made home a true fellowship of brotherhood and love. But when all this is said and all such cases are taken into account, it yet remains true that there is a type of family life that is distinctively Christian. 3. The Christian spirit has created that fellowship of the Spirit known as the Christian Church. This Church has been a continual witness for God and for the things eternal ; it has come to men with a mes- sage of love and forgiveness ; and it has wrought wonders iu human life and for human society. This Church has been as an ark of safety ia which the hopes of men have been borne across the troubled seas of life ; it has been the body of Christ serving the life PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 19 of man in manifold ways and seeking to bless and uplift the life of the world ; it has gathered together the men of faith and has mobilized them into an army for the King. The Church is one of the great achievements of the Christian spirit and its service of the world has done much to advance the kingdom of God. This does not mean that it is only in Christian lands that we find men joining in a worshipping community and seeking to know the will of heaven. All history justifies the statement that man is by nature a relig- ious being ; the man without a religion is an excep- tion and an anomaly. In all times under aU forms of religion men have joined in the worship of God and have united to do His will. In all lands among all peoples men have lifted hands in prayer not for them- selves alone but for all ; and then they have gone forth to do the wiU of God as they understood it. Thus Herodotus records the custom of the Persians : " He that sacrifices is not permitted to pray for bless- ings for himself alone ; but he is obliged to offer prayers for the prosperity of all the Persians, and the king, for he is himself included in all the Persians." ' And this does not mean that the churches bearing the name of Christ have been fully Christian. It must be admitted that the Church as it has appeared in history has fallen far below the ideal of Christ and has done but a fraction of His work. There have been times when the churches have been cold and unspiritual and have hardly lisped the first syllable of the Christian Gospel. There have been times when the churches have approximated the society around them and have >BookI, Seo. 131. 20 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY been hardly a whit better than the world of paganism. There have been times when the leaders of the churches have been so selfish and corrupt as to bring upon them- selves the scorn and contempt of all right-thinking men. There have been times when the churches have been so narrow and unspiritual that the men who would be Christians have been compelled to go out- side their fellowship. And to-day in the churches as we find them, in the very best churches of Christen- dom, there are many things that are unworthy of Christ and bring sad reproach upon His name. In the churches of to-day, in the very best of them, there are men and women at all stages of immaturity and growth, and the line between the Church and the world is at best an invisible one. The best that we can say is this, that the Church is becoming Christian and it is hence to be judged not so much by what it is as by what it is coming to be. And yet with it all the Church is here as the body of Christ, and it is doing the work of the kingdom as no other institution pretends to do it. 4. The Christian spirit has also created the world- wide missionary enterprise, one of the finest achieve- ments of the Christian principle. In obedience to the commands of the Master men and women have sundered the ties of home and have gone forth to the ends of the earth to bear the tidings of salvation to the lost. In good report and in iU report, enduring great hardships and taking their lives in their hands, they have pene- trated the frozen north and have crossed burning deserts under the equator ; with a patience that never fails and with a love that never falters they have sought the lost peoples and have loved them into the kingdom. The missionary enterprise is the truest internationalism and PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 21 is one of the clearest witnesses of the world-wide love of God. The missionary enterprise is one of the finest triumphs of the Christian spirit and in it the very heart of Christianity is revealed. In this missionary enterprise, as in aU human things, there are many offshoots that cause the thoughtful Christian some serious misgivings. Some of the mis- sionaries have been men of narrow minds who have re- garded aU religions outside of Christianity as inven- tions of the devil ; and so they have antagonized the very people they wanted to help. Some workers have been driven on by motives that would not bear the light of day; and so their work has not fully com- mended the Gospel they preached. Denominational rivalries have hindered the work at home and abroad, and have disgusted the non-Christian peoples. Inspired by a false conception of the kingdom of God men have gone from village to village preaching the Gospel for a witness, as they called it, and taking little interest in the real life of the hearers. But when we have ad- mitted aU this the story yet remains half told. For some of the best and noblest souls of the world have been leaders in the missionary movement ; and many men and women have wrought for their backward brethren in the most Christly and sympathetic spirit. Missionary workers have been real statesmen and have laid the foundations of great nations that are yet to be. Devoted mission workers have gained the confidence of the people and have earned the name of Jesus Christ's man. The missionary movement is one of the finest triumphs of the Christian spirit, and it stands as some- thing wholly unique in the world. All this is much, but all this is not all. The achieve- 22 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY ments noted are great and notable and are worthy of all honour. And yet they have not solved the problems of the world or brought the redemption of human society. In fact, as we shall see, the problems of to-day are the most perplexing that have ever confronted the Christian worker ; and many students of human affairs declare that human society is undergoing a steady and disheartening deterioration. This is certain that Chris- tianity to-day is coming face to face with a great un- finished task which will challenge the faith of the Christian worker and will try the power of the Chris- tian Gospel. It is not possible and it is not necessary here to define this task in detail, for in the chapters that follow some aspects of this task are considered. A brief survey of the world may however aid us in grasping the situation as a whole and in conceiving the task before us. II. The Present Situatioit It is important that the Christian worker have a clear conception of the essential Christian principle. It is important that he know how Christianity has un- folded and what it has done in the ages past. But it is essential no less that he know his own age and un- derstand the task to which he is directly called. 1. To-day approximately one-third of the race is nominally Christian and there is a section of the world, which includes a dozen leading nations, that may be called Christendom. In this Christendom perhaps one- third of the people are directly aifiliated with the churches, while a large proportion confess in some way their allegiance to Christian principles. But in the lands where Christianity originated and the Gospel won its first triumphs there remains only a nominal and PAST ACfflEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 23 inert Church with a most formal and unvital Christian- ity. In the lands of Europe where Christianity has been longest known we behold the tragic spectacle of a Church that has lost the allegiance of the people and the people turning away from the Church in masses. And in other lands where the Church has a stronger hold upon the people, we yet find many men challeng- ing the Church to show its right to claim the Christian name and doubting in their hearts whether it is worth while to maintain the institution any longer. 2. In the generations past known as the Christian centuries, many evils have been combated and many gains have been made. One evil after another has been attacked in the name of Christianity and its power has been broken. Like a mighty conqueror the Son of Man has marched down the centuries overturning an evil here, ending an abuse there, breaking the shackles of millions of men, lifting the gates of great empires from their hinges and changing the whole drift of history. The child has been brought in from the servant's room and placed in the midst of the disciples ; the position of woman has been changed ; the curse of human slavery has been abolished ; gladiatorial shows have been sup- pressed ; the prisoner has received some consideration at the hands of men, and government has become demo- cratic and humane. The record of these Oesta Christi fills many pages of history and is a most splendid story of victories. But alas ! there is another side to the story and this must be told. In the lands where Chris- tianity prevails and its victories have been achieved other great evils no less fatal and pernicious are prevalent and growing. In many so-called Christian nations the consumption of alcoholic liquors is steadily 24: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY increasing ; the proportion of criminals and defectives is growing ; in the United States over ten per cent, of the marriages end in the divorce court ; and most serious venereal maladies threaten the deterioration of the race. Of one European country it has been said that the people are the most religious and have the greatest preachers ; and yet it has more drunkenness and illegitimacy than any country in the world. 3. In this Christendom we find some great cities, numbering from two to three millions and from six to seven miUions. In these cities are thousands of Chris- tian men and women and hundreds of Christian churches of one kind and another. And yet in these cities there are plague spots, called slums, that con- stitute the standing menace of the city and the steady shame of our Christianity. The cities of Christendom are the heaviest handicaps that Christianity has to bear. This is not hearsay and declamation, as any one, alas ! can easily ascertain for himself. The evidence in part at least is presented in such books as " The Life and Labours of the People of London," by Charles Booth ; " In Darkest England," by Gen. Wm. Booth ; " How the Other Half Lives," by Jacob A. Kiis; "The Bitter Cry of the Children," by John Spargo; "If Christ Came to Chicago," by Wm. T. Stead. Professor Huxley teUs us that in his earlier life he spent some years in an East End parish, and what struck him was the astonishing dullness and deadness of the existence of the whole people. Some years later he made a journey around the world and saw savage life in all conceivable conditions. " But I can assure you that in this experience of mine I saw nothing worse, nothing more degrading, nothing so hopeless, nothing nearly so PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 25 intolerably dull and miserable as the life I had left be- hind me in the East End of London ; and had I to choose between the life of these people in the East End and the life of the savage, I would distinctly choose the latter." And he says further that if there is no hope of a large improvement of the condition of the human family, "I should hail the advent of some kindly comet which should sweep the whole affair away as a desirable consummation." A recent traveller in Africa, Bryden, writes thus : " I have visited nearly every native town in Bechuanaland, and I say un- hesitatingly that these people are at this moment physically and morally better off than thousands of the population of our great cities of Great Britain, living happier and healthier lives by far than seven-tenths of the poor folks at home." "Well then may the Poet Laureate sing so sadly : Is it well that while we range with science, glory- ing in the time, City children soak and blacken soul and sense in city slime? There among the glooming alleys progress halts on palsied feet, Crime and hunger cast our maidens by the thou- sands on the street ; There the master scrimps his haggard sempstress of her daily bread. There a single sordid attic holds the living and the dead. There the smoldering fire of fever creeps across the rotted floor, And the crowded couch of incest in the warrens of the poor. — Locksley Eall : Sixty Years After. 26 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY The cities of Christendom are the standing reproach of Christianity. 4. One other aspect of the present situation may be noted, and this is in some respects the most significant and ominous of all. That Uf e may possess unity and power man must have a coherent and unified view of life and its meaning. In all ancient times religion served many purposes in life and in society, but this unification of Ufe, this interpretation of life's meaning was its chief and commanding purpose. Man's religious ideas have often been crude and meagre, and yet they have been the last terms in his conception of God and the universe ; these conceptions have been pitifully limited and provincial, and yet they have given life its meaning and duty its urgency. Whether for good or ill religion dominated the life of the world and was the unifying principle of human society. In the nineteen centuries of its history the Christian religion has fulfilled an important function in the life of man in that it has given life a meaning and has of- fered a coherent view of the world and duty. For fifteen hundred years and more the Christian world lived under the sway of what may be called the church view of man and of society. As James Bryce shows in his study of mediaeval Christianity, " The whole cycle of social and moral duty is deduced from the obliga- tion of obedience to the visible autocratic head of the Christian state." ' The boundaries of the Church defined the horizon of life ; church ideas and church obligations determined the duties of man. The Church was the special guardian of religion, and religion was the special interest of the Church. In fact the Church and ' " Holy Boman Empire," Chapter V. PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 27 religion were always associated together and neither had much meaning apart from the other. But in these latter times, whether for good or for Ul yet remains to be seen, the Christian world has outgrown the old ecclesiastical conception of life and duty. And to-day the church conception of life bulks less and less in the life of man and the definition of his duty. For one thing the modem state has arisen outside of the Church and in a sense in opposition to it. ^' The modern world has developed a civilization of a secular kind and incorporated it firmly in the modern state. Thus the Church finds itself faced by a grave dilemma. If she maintains unaltered her ancient claims she is driven into ever sharper antagonism with the modern world and the modern state ; if, on the other hand, she renounces these claims, Christianity becomes increas- ingly a concern of the mere individual ; there ceases to be any distinctively Christian sphere of life, and the secular view and treatment of things threatens entirely to supersede the religious dispensation." ' There is a grave danger to-day that life may break up into two provinces more or less disparate if not antagonistic ; on the one side we will have the Church dealing with the religious interests of men, and on the other the state concerned with the secular things of life. This tendency is very marked in other directions. In these latter times one department of human interest and activity after another has broken away from all control by the Church, if not with all connection with it, and has created its own ideals and methods. The work of general education and charity, the interest of social service and reform, once the peculiar interest and con- 1 Euckeu, " Christianity and the Kew Idealism," p. 122. 28 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY cern of the Church, now engage the attention and claim the devotion of many people who are not members of the churches and sometimes have scant patience with them. One by one the churches have seen these inter- ests of man slip away from them ; little by little these forms of service have grown up outside of the churches and have created their own institutions. To-day life seems to be breaking up into two hemispheres, one called Keligion and the other called Social Service. To-day much of this work of Social Service goes on outside of the churches and with little reference to religion. To many people religion is losing its centrality and is be- coming simply one interest among many other interests. And this interest called religion is regarded by many as a somewhat incidental interest, good enough in its way and place, but at best something apart from man's real and practical Uf e. Let the churches concern them- selves with religion, it is said ; but let religion keep to its sphere and leave the real world alone. And so it has come about that many people in recent times have dropped out of the churches, not because they are especially irreligious, but because they have found " a larger faith and a more practical work for human good." ' At any rate great interests of man lie largely if not wholly outside the range of the churches' con- trol and many of these deny any relation whatever to the Church and its ideal. The consequences of all this are seen on every hand, and these consequences are most serious. For one thing society is facing an inner disintegration which threatens its peace, if not its very existence. Because the unifying ideal is fading and the inner bond is lacking " the mani- » Crooker, " The Churoh ol To-day," p. 17. PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 29 fold divergencies of our material interests make them- selves dominantly felt, and in default of counter-influ- ences our ways draw more and more apart, we be- come increasingly estranged from one another until at last we live in wholly separate worlds. Such inward disintegration of humanity is already painfully apparent to-day ; civilization itself is in many different directions in process of rapid dissociation ; a Babylonish confusion of speech separating us more and more into rival parties and factions is unmistakably spreading, and threatens increasingly to end in a helium omnium contra omnes." ' " Our age," says Karl Yon Hase, " lacks a coherent view of life." Not only so, but man's moral life is distracted and torn by competing and conflicting ideas and ideals. " Society," we are gravely told, " is ethically bankrupt. We have some ethical assets but these are a smaU per- centage of our liability. Speaking generally our eth- ical capital consists of a heterogeneous collection of provincial moralities. . . . But we have no uni- versal ethical standard to which one class may appeal against another class and get a verdict which the de- feated litigant feels bound to accept."^ This confusion is seen in every section of society and in every group of men, and this confusion is the cause of much misunderstanding and conflict. Thus, there is no one code of ethics which aU men feel bound to honour and by which they agree to be rated. This confusion is seen also in the larger groups or estates of society, and here it is the cause of much unrest and antagonism. Thus society is divided into groups and classes, and while each has special interests and regulative tradi- 'Enoken, "Christianity and the New Idealism," p. 132, 'Small, " General Sooiology," p. 657. 30 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHMSTIANITY tions of its own, they all have few aims and purposes in common. "When disputes arise among these groups and classes, as they continually do arise, it is found dif- ficult to compose these differences, for the reason that each has a different standard of ethics from the others. " There is no common ethical appeal. Neither litigants nor referees can convince the others that they must recognize a paramount standard of right." And hence one concludes that " The absence of a common tribunal of moral judgment is the most radical fact in our pres- ent social situation." ' The world has many good peo- ple in it to-day, more we are ready to believe than ever before. But these people possess no unifying ideal, no organific principle, no coherent view of Ufe, no synthetic program of action. Society is coming to self-conscious- ness and is beginning to take note of its troubles and needs. But it has no clear sense of direction, no or- ganizing impulse, no all-inclusive ideal, no mighty im- pulsion. The greatest need of to-day, as Frederic Har- rison has pointed out, is some human synthesis which shall explain man's life and gather up his efforts ; some synthesis by which society can order its affairs as a whole ; some synthesis which shall give cohesion and unity to our humanity in its toils and campaigns. " Strange," he says, " that we do not all, day and night, incessantly seek for an answer to this of all questions the most vital : Is there anything by which our nature can gain its unity ; our race acknowledge its brother- hood ; our humanity can order its affairs as a whole ? " ' The great need of to-day is some social ideal which shall put meaning into man's life and courage into his heart, ' Small, "General Sociology," p. 660. ' JTte Nineteenth Century, March, 1881. PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 31 some synthesis which shall unite mankind into one body and marshal them as one army to confront the ills of the world and to seek the perfection of society. In fine, we need some unifying and coherent view of life as a whole, some social synthesis which views the many departments of man's life as integral parts of life itself and justifies these departments in relation to life's grand good as a whole, some inclusive program which unites all these departments in the development of one com- mon Uf e. In the nineteen centuries of its history Christianity has done much for man and for society. It has won the allegiance of millions of noble lives. It has dis- solved the doubts of men and has solved some of the problems of society. It has permeated the dead lump of human society and has set up a great ferment. It has cheered millions of pilgrims across the world and has lighted the eyes of dying men with visions of the Celestial City. It has become the inspiration and the potency of countless forms of social service. But Chris- tianity has not yet achieved the redemption of the world or transformed the lump of human society. It has not yet solved the problems confronting the modern world. And its present methods and achievements give no as- surance of the redemption of the world within any measurable time. The primary question at issue in this study is not whether the world as a whole is growing better or worse. We may firmly believe that it is growing bet- ter. We may grant that a large part of the progress made in the past is due directly and indirectly to the truth and power of Christianity. The real question at issue to-day is this : Whether the power of Christianity 32 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY is adequate to the tasks of this modern world ; whether in fact it can achieve the redemption of human society within any measurable time. The fact that such a con- dition exists to-day as we have described shows clearly that Christianity has not yet had its perfect work. And this suggests the question whether the time has not come for Christian men to make a diligent study of the Christian idea and ideal, to take a fresh survey of the world and its needs, to make a careful appraisal of their methods and plans, and to listen again for the word which the Spirit is speaking unto the churches. It is evident, at any rate, that much work yet remains to be done, that some great task is yet to be fulfilled. The nature of this unfinished task must now be consid- ered; with this fairly before us we shall know the special work to which this age is summoned. BIBLIOGRAPHY Brace : '' Gesta Christi : A History of Humane Progress Under Chris- tianity." Lecky : "A History of European Morals." Crooker : "The Chnrch of To-day. ' ' Senate Doonment No. 644 : The Report of the President's Homes Commission. Brooks: "The Social Unrest." Hunter: "Poverty." Mathews : "The Church and the Changing Order." II THE NEW AGE AND ITS PEOBLEMS THE world changes and men change with it. The world changes and ever new problems come to the front and make their insistent demand. Every age is, in a sense, peculiar, and has problems that are peculiar. This age has a life of its own, and so it has problems that are distinctive. The present age is a restless and troubled age. Men are cumbered about many things and are asking many questions. The sign manual of the time is an interro- gation point rampant. What we caU our horizon is a line of question marks. The word problems is one of the most frequent words in common speech to-day. The Sphinx, we are told, is sitting by the roadside in our Western world and is propounding her fateful questions to every passer-by. And these questions sweep the circle of man's life and press upon him at every point. There are questions confronting the Church ; in fact, we are told that the Church is facing the most momentous crisis of its long history. There are problems troubling society also ; our Western civi- lization, it is said, is face to face with social and polit- ical problems graver in character and more far-reaching in extent than any which have been hitherto encoun- tered. In ethics and philosophy we find much the same perplexity ; from the theologian and the sociolo- gist comes the same sad confession. At every turn 33 34r THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY man is confronted with a problem in whose solution he is told the whole world is interested. There is a sense in which these problems are old because they have to do with human Life and social progress. In fact, we have some ground for the decla- ration that every problem before us to-day is as old as the pyramids. But there is a sense also in which these problems are wholly new and original. At any rate, they wear a different aspect to-day, and the tasks grow- ing out of them press at a new point of incidence. "What then, it is pertinent to inquire, are the special problems of this modern world ? "What are the great needs of this time ? "What are the tasks which Chris- tianity is now called to fulfill ? I. The Social Problem 1. In these times the race is coming to social self- consciousness and men are discovering that they are social beings. In these latter days men are gaining what has been called the sense of humanity, and they are learning that the race is one great unit. To-day men are learning to think of humanity, not as a number of disconnected and independent individuals, but as the interrelated and interdependent members of a living society. Our personal life is rooted in the life of hu- manity and it flourishes in that soil, deriving its richest nourishment from it and living itself because others live. One man, says a wise old proverb, is no man. Thought is unable to conceive of any such thing as an independent human being. "We begin life as sons, and we continue it as brothers, fathers, neighbours, friends and citizens. In the most real sense we have discovered that no man lives to himself and no man dies to hira- THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 35 self. We have discovered that the race is one, that we are bound in the bondage of our fellows and that we can become free only in and through their freedom. We are all in the same boat, and we must all sink together or we must aU be saved together. In the light of this social self -consciousness men are seeing many things as they never saw them before. They are discovering that society is poor and miserable and naked and destitute ; they are discovering that many members of the race are growing up in conditions which practically make impossible a full and worthy and human life. They are finding that many persons are really disinherited by society and have no real heritage in life; they are finding that through the toils and sacrifices of the generations past society has come into a vast heritage of achievement and resources ; and yet through neglect on the part of many or through fraud on the part of some this heritage has fallen into few hands and the great mass of the people have no fair share in it. The fact is, " A large proportion of the population in the prevailing state of society take part in the rivalry of life only under conditions which absolutely preclude them, whatever their natural merit or ability, from any real chance therein. They come into the world to find the best positions not only already fiUed, but practically occupied in perpetuity. For, under the great body of rights which wealth has inherited from feudalism, we, to aU intents and pur- poses, allow the wealthy classes to retain control of these positions generation after generation, to the per- manent exclusion of the rest of the people." ' 2. And this brings us face to face with the problem 'Kidd, "Social Evolution," p. 232. 36 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY of to-day, called by way of preeminence the Social Prob- lem. This problem is the problem of social welfare ; the problem how to bring greater happiness and larger opportunity to the rank and file of men ; the problem how to equalize opportunity and thus enable each life to realize its highest capabilities ; the problem how to bring the disinherited into the Father's house and give them a fair inheritance in society. In any enduring commonwealth each man has his place and his work, and no society is either rational or Christian till this man has found his place and is doing his work. The social problem is how to use the resources of society in promoting the whole hfe of the people, and thus enab- ling the laggards to march with the main army. Of all the problems of the modern man, the one which towers above all others is the problem of the just organization of society so that the heritage of the past shall be transmitted to all its members alike. In the most real sense we have discovered that mankind is a unit and that we are aU bound up together in a soli- darity of life and death. There can hence be no per- fection for one man or for any part of society so long as other men and other sections of society are wronged and degraded. The social problem is nothing less than the task of bringing greater happiness and larger oppor- tunity to the life of all the people that every member of society may have power to exercise his natural faculties. The great problems of to-day are social problems. They are not primarily personal problems, and they are not distinctively poUtioal problems. The problem to- day is not how to make good individuals, for this in a way has been solved ; the problem to-day is how to THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 37 associate these individuals and to make a good society. The problems of to-day are not primarily political problems, for political liberty and democracy have been won in these "Western lands at least ; the problem to-day is how to secure industrial democracy and fair opportunity for aU ; till this is done the task of de- mocracy is not fulfilled and society wiU not be at peace. There are persons who make light of all this and tell us that there is no social problem at aU. There is one problem — only one — they say, and that is the problem of sin. This is true enough so far as it goes — in fact it is true even to triteness and truism — but it does not touch the real heart of the question and it is a real evasion of difficulty. The Gospel has proved its power to make good individuals — or indi- viduals who want to be good ; but thus far these good individuals have not learned how to associate them- selves and to make a good society, and this is the real nib of the difficulty. And there are others who make light of this whole problem by teUing us that it is only a passing whim, and to-morrow society wiU have forgotten all about this problem in some new fad. The men who talk in this way are blind leaders of the blind and they are among the most dangerous men in the world to-day. This social question is more than a mere passing whim, for it is a question that goes down to the very foundations of society and concerns the very future of mankind. "The whole problem of how men shall live together, of how they shaU share amongst them the goods of Ufe, is up for rehearing, and no teaching institution, by whatever venerable name it may call itself, will be listened to, unless in these matters it can give a sane and coura- 38 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY geous leadership." ' The fi'oblem of society to-day is the social problem. II. The Pkesekvation of the Unfit 1. There is another marked characteristic of this age which brings us face to face with a most vital problem. One of the most outstanding and hopeful features of this time is the new interest in social serv- ice. From the very beginning Christianity has been a great philanthropic impulse, and in all generations it has outflowered in many beautiful forms of loving helpfulness. In these times the hamanitarianism of Christianity has become most pronounced, and the Christian spirit is manifesting itself in the varied forms of humanitarian effort. But this very activity of the philanthropic spirit creates a problem which is as vital as it is puzzling. In fact there are students and workers not a few who declare that this effort is misdirected and that it is doing more harm than good. " There is nothing more dreadful than active ignorance," says Goethe, and much of our so-called charitable work illustrates this saying. At any rate it is becoming very plain that the present methods of philanthropy can never achieve the improvement of society ; nay more, it is becoming no less plain that some of this philanthropic helpfulness really complicates the prob- lem and means the degeneracy of the race. In all the world of life nature is most exacting in her demands and by natural election she imposes the death penalty upon aU who are found weak and unfit. Thus nature's discipline is inexorable — death to those who do not rise to her standard — survival and parent- ' Brierley, "Our City of God," p. 144. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 39 age for those who alone do. The struggle is severe and the results are tragic to many, but by this proc- ess the blood of the tribe is kept comparatively pure and the highest efficiency of the clan is maintained. " Inconvenience, suffering and death are the penalties attached by nature to ignorance as well as incompe- tence — are also the means of remedying these. Partly by breeding out those of lowest development, and partly by subjecting those who remain to the never- ceasing discipline of experience nature secures the growth of a race who shall both understand the con- ditions of existence and be able to act up to them. It is best to let the foolish man suffer the penalty of his foolishness." ' And this method of nature we are told by the scientist and the sociologist is right and proper and should be allowed to work out its necessary re- sults. Thus Herbert Spencer finds fault with modem governmental and social organizations on the ground that they are interfering with the beneficial operation of the universal law of natural selection. " A sad population of imbeciles would our schemers fill the world with could their plans last. Why, the whole effort of nature is to get rid of such — to clear the world of them and make room for better." To the same purport speaks the sociologist: thus Prof. E. A. Boss says : " The shortest way to make this world a heaven is to let those so inclined hurry heUward at their own pace." Hence he deduces the social canon : " Social interference should not be so paternal as to check the self-extinction of the moraUy ill-consti- tuted." ^ 'Spencer, " Social Statics, Sanitary Supervision." • " Social Control," p. 423. 40 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 2. But man — nature's insurgent son — ^has come upon the scene and is resisting this decree of nature ; by his will he is modifying " not only man's own history but that of the whole living world and the face of the planet on which he exists. Man is nature's rebel. Where nature says die, man says, I wUl live." ' Not only so, but Christian man has further resisted the natural process and has sought to keep alive the weak and sickly, the mal-endowed and the defective, and has made it possible for them both to survive and to per- petuate their kind. This is not all, but in these latter times he has called to his aid the resources of science and the skill of surgery to keep the most unpromising alive and to shield them from the sentence of death. All this is proper and right, and every lover of his kind must rejoice in this growing dominance of the Christian spirit. Modern society being more and more motived by the spirit of Christ, will never allow the defective and unfit to live uncared for and to die unpitied. In fact as time goes on the Christian spirit will more and more summon to its aid scientific knowledge to keep the weakest from perishing and to keep the sickly alive. By all this, as careful students and workers have shown, there is created one of the most vital problems that has ever confronted the human race. In all this, as Professor Lankester shows, the standard raised by the rebel man is different from the standard held aloft by nature. Nature's standard is fitness and adaptation on the one side, and efficiency and worth to society on the other. Man's standard is food and life for all, and he measures success by the number of beings he can 'Lankester, " The Kingdom of Man," p. 26. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 41 keep in life. By this means the weakly and the unfit are kept alive and permitted to propagate after their kind, and thus society accumulates a vast number of unadjusted human beings ; nay worse, by this means man defeats the process of natural selection, which en- sures the elimination of the unfit ; and he multiplies the number of defectives and dependents in society ; worse still man in keeping alive these persons of tainted blood and defective mind and making it possible for them to multiply after their kiud, is poisoning the blood of the race and is reaUy promoting the degeneracy of mankind. This is no boon, certainly it is no benefit to the race ; nay, as aU careful thinkers see, this is an unparalleUed calamity from the point of view of the race, and is simply preparing the world for disaster and de- generacy. 3. What then is demanded by this crisis in human affairs ? What is the answer to this Sphinx riddle of social evolution ? We must do far more than aim to keep the sickly alive and preserve the mal-endowed from inevitable extinction ; we must do far more than remove hindrances from man's way and enable bitn to survive and propagate. We must do more than the works of charity, such as feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, keeping the weakly aUve, shielding the mal- endowed from destruction. We must now declare that every Ufa shall begin its existence weU-endowed and capable and strong. We must guarantee that there shall be no unfit and defective members in society to be a burden to themselves and to hinder the upward march of the race. We must create such conditions in society as shall make it possible for every life to grow up tall and strong and pure and fit. 42 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY This is a vast undertaking, we admit, and it calls for a synthetic, scientific, sociological and Christian pro- gram, but nothing less than this is the task set before man to-day, and no other kind of program can meet the exigency of the crisis. That is to say, " civilized man has proceeded so far in his interference with extra-hu- man nature, has produced for himself and the living or- ganism associated with him such a special state of things by his rebellion against natural selection and his defiance of nature's pre-human dispositions, that he must either go on and acquire firmer control of the condi- tions, or perish miserably by the vengeance certain to fall on the half-hearted meddler with great affairs." In other words. Christian man must now learn how to appraise all the factors that enter into the life of man, heredity, environment, personal wiU and divine grace, and must so use these factors that together they shall work for man's whole progress and perfection ; he must know how to manage all the forces of the universe for the advantage and superiority of the race ; he must be- gin to subsidize and use the mighty agencies of the Church, the Family, the State and the School in behalf of these great ends. There is no retreat for him from this way ; he must control these forces and factors ; he must resolutely undertake the larger work of social re- form and reconstruction ; in fine, Christian effort to-day must be much wider in its scope than church evangel- ism and personal regeneration ; Christian charity must do more than run soup kitchens and build hospitals ; it must become social, industrial, scientific and sociological, and must seek the redemption of society. The problem of philanthropy to-da/y is the problem of social recon- struction. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 43 III. The Failuee of Individual Efeoet One other line of inquiry may be followed, and at its end we will discover the great problem before us. One other aspect of the present problem may be noted, and then the great task wiU be clearly suggested. 1. As every one knows, great things have been done in the name of Christ during the past nineteen cen- turies. Millions of souls have been turned from sin unto righteousness, and have been saved for lives of purity and power. Great changes have been wrought in human society and many an evil has gone never to return. No one who has studied history is inclined to minimize these results or to ignore these Oesta ChrisU. But thus far in the history of Christian effort men have thrown chief emphasis upon the salvation of individuals, and as a consequence they have hardly contemplated the salvation of society. The fact is that the methods thus far followed have not produced the largest results and they have not by any means wrought the redemption of the world. And the fact is also that the method of individual work for individuals gives no hope of the salvation of society within any measurable time. It would be a gross mis- statement to say that the social and moral condition of the cities of the world has not improved at all in his- toric times, but it is the simple truth to say that the progress in these cities is so slow and uncertain as to be almost unnoticed. It is needless here to adduce evidence indicting the great cities of Christendom, for this evidence is known to all. London is confessedly the greatest city in the world ; and yet London is the standing reproach of Christendom. Thus General Booth says: "Talk about Dante's Hell and all the horrors 44 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY and cruelties of the torture chamber of the lost ! The man who walks with open eyes and bleeding heart through the shambles of our civilization needs no such fantastic images of the poet to teach him horror." Huxley's striking descriptions of conditions in the East End of London are well known ; and he declares that among the lowest savages of New Guinea he had found that the surroundings were more conducive to a decent and moral existence than in some parts of the city wilderness ; and if he had to choose between the two most distinctly he would choose the former. In London it is found that there is a Submerged Tenth, caught by the maelstrom and sinking in the flood, abandoned and despairing, without God and without hope. Above this is a larger class in poverty, — at least thirty per cent, of the total, — who are unable to obtain those necessaries of life which will permit them to maintain a state of physical efficiency. In Scotland also, according to official figures, over one- third of the families live in a single room, and more than two-thirds in only two rooms. The man who walks through the wynds and closes of Edinburgh and Glasgow with open eyes is tempted at times to call for the crack of doom to come and end it all. "What is true of London is no less true of New York City. It is true that economic conditions are somewhat better here than in the Old World, but none the less the facts are appalling. In 1890, according to Bishop Huntington, " recent certified revelations have laid bare the multiplied horrors and depravities of the tenement population in great cities, where forty-one out of every hundred families live in a single room, and where the poorest pay more for rent than the richest for every THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 45 cubic foot of space and air." New York is one of the richest states in the Union, and yet the reports of the State Board of Charities show that from year to year about twenty-four per cent, of the people apply for relief of some kind. And most tragic of all, from year to year ten per cent, of all those who die in New York City are buried in Potter's Field. In 1900 in New York State a commission was created to investigate tenement conditions in New York City. After several days' investigation in sUent amazement the up-state members of the commission declared " New York ought to be abolished." 2. In these and other cities of Christendom Chris- tian men have been at work for generations and for centuries preaching the Gospel of Christ, seeking to save souls, building churches and founding hospitals. And yet to-day, as we study the social and moral con- dition of these cities, it is not easy to see wherein they are improving from generation to generation. Indeed, there are thoughtful people not a few who declare that the great cities of the world are degenerating and that the churches are steadily losing ground. Be all this as it may, be there any real progress or not, the fact re- mains that the progress is so slow and so disappointing that we can hardly measure its gains. In these cities millions of people are unblessed by the Gospel and live without any of the things that make for admiration, hope and love. On the one side we have the spectacle of millions of people alienated from the churches and wholly indif- ferent to the gospel message. The churches are for the fortunate few, they say ; religion is good enough for those who have time for it. And on the other side 46 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY we see tlie Christian worker baflaed at every turn by social conditions and fenced away from the people by impassable economic barriers. While conditions are as they are it is almost impossible to reach the people with the gospel message ; and while conditions are as they are it is almost impossible for the convert to preserve his integrity. At this rate, by our present methods, the kingdom will never come in any measurable time ; the redemption of these cities by our present methods is so remote that it can hardly be considered as a human contingency. With economic and social condi- tions as they are in these cities it is practically impos- sible to reach many of the people with the Gospel. With home conditions as they are and with so many suggestions to evil on every hand the gospel worker is seriously handicapped and finds himself thwarted at every turn. By the individuaUstio method of work, that is, by individual work on individuals, there is no near prospect of the redemption of these cities. With conditions as they are, that is, with the environment as it is, and with so many handicaps as now exist, the saving of these cities is an indefinite possibility. The problem of Christian work to-da/y is the problem of social worTc. IV. The Solidaeitt of Humanity 1. There is one other fact and factor that must be noted here, for it has direct bearing upon the question before us. In the past generation or two man has slowly grown into the conception of one of the most potent truths of life, the Solidarity of Humanity. The race is now gainiag what has been called the sense of humanity and men are learning that the race THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 47 is a unit. The providences of God, the processes of life, and the progress of society are revealing the unity of the world and the oneness of mankind, and are making explicit in human thought what has from the beginning been impUcit in human life. In the light of scientific investigation men are coming to see that the unity of the race is no fiction, but the most real and potent of facts. In the light of sociological thought also men are coming to perceive the implica- tions and meanings of this great truth. And in the light of this truth of human solidarity men are com- ing to perceive the larger meaning of those texts of Scripture that teach the unity of the race in sin and redemption. And out of it all there is coming to men the conviction that the centuries and the generations are aU bound up together in the one bundle of life, that the first man's life is so linked in with the last man's life that one without the other cannot be- come perfect, and that men are all unitedly to attain unto the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the per- fect man, unto the measure of the stature of the full- ness of Christ. " The crowning discovery of modern physical science is the unity of the universe, the oneness of all things visible and invisible in one great system of matter and force and law." ' The universe we have discov- ered is one, and atom is linked with atom and star is bound to star by ties that cannot be broken. The fruitfulness of our fields, the comfort of our homes, the very habitability of our globe depend upon the conditions of a body a hundred million of miles dis- tant. There is no atom which does not influence the Lemuel Moss, "Missionary Centenary Addresses," p. 173. 48 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY entire universe. " I say," protests Carlyle, in striking phraseology, "there is no Ked Indian hunting by Lake "Winnipeg can quarrel with his squaw, but the whole world must smart for it ; wiU not the price of beaver rise? It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe." ' The world is an organic totality and all things move together because all things are linked together. One thing is as it is because all other things are as they are. The simplest fact im- plies and involves the whole universe of truth. To know any single fact in the world in its causes and results is to know all facts from the hour when the morning stars sang together till the " last syllable of recorded time." "Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies, Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower — but if I could understand "What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is." That is both exquisite poetry and exact science. To know one thing is to know all things. 2. These facts of the physical and material world are only parables of human life and its relationships. "When we come to the study of man we find that this truth of solidarity is most luminous and most fateful. The most certain fact about man is his relationships with other men. The race is one and not many ; it is an organic whole and it cannot be resolved into a number of isolated individuals each complete in him- self and each sufficient unto himself. The very con- ' "Sartor Kesartus, Organic FUamenta." THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 49 ception of an individual implies a larger whole of which the individual is but a part. The individual is nothing apart from the life of the race ; and the life of the race finds expression in and through the life of the individual. The Gulf Stream is in the ocean and the ocean is in the Gulf Stream. Society is the fundamental fact and is an essential condition to the development of personality. " It would be as impossible to develop a personality without human society as it would to convey sound in a vacuum or to sustain life without an atmosphere." ' There can be self-consciousness only through social consciousness. We know ourselves because we know others. Man by the very constitution of his being is a creature of rela- tionships, and it is only in and through these relation- ships that he comes to maturity and power. The law is written deep and clear in the nature of man that man comes to man's estate in and through fellowship. The law does not read : You ought not to break fellow- ship with your kind and seek to live for yourself alone. The law really reads: You cannot live by yourself alone and be a man. Forever we shall be members one of another, dependent one upon the other, rising or falling as our feUows rise or faU. The whole race is bound up together in a solidarity of life and in- terests and responsibilities. Each member supplements the others, and he lives himself by helping others live. For good or ill our fortunes are in the keeping of the race ^and we are made rich or poor in the riches or poverty of all. We are the poorer or the richer, the weaker or the stronger, the better or the worse, for the virtues and vices, the diseases or the health, the indus- 1 Jones, "Social Law in the Spiritual World," p. 53. 50 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY try or the indolence of the people who perished in other lands before the Pyramids were built. The sins and mistakes of long dead empires cast their shadows over our civilization and we must pay the penalty of crimes committed by forgotten and unknown nations. 3. Two things are implied in this which we must notice but cannot consider in detail. First : To have good men we must have a good social order. It is not necessary to discuss this in full, for some aspects of this fact will be considered in a later chapter ; but we note here the problem which we discuss later. The newer psychology recognizes that we are influenced in our deeper and more temperamental dispositions by the life habits and modes of conduct of unnumbered hosts of ancestors, which like a cloud of witnesses are pres- ent throughout our lives, and that our souls are echo chambers in which their whispers reverberate.' The individual is made before he becomes aware of his indi- viduality. For this reason they who would begin the work of man's salvation with the individual begin too far up the scale for their efforts to be fuUy effective. The individual is himself a result and a social product and we must therefore go behind him to ensure com- plete success. The fact is a thousand things are deter- mined in the life and decided for the individual before he has come to self-consciousness and self-determina- tion. Heredity has done much, and the early atmos- phere has done more. His life has received form and shape before ever his own reason and will have any voice in the matter. The recognition of this simple fact will clear the air and make useless a number of cant phrases. 'Stanley Hall, " Adolesoeuoe," Part II, p. 61. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 51 For this reason they who say that the whole problem of life and salvation is a personal problem ignore some of the most vital facts of life. "We are told that the questions of crime and poverty, intemperance and failure are wholly individual questions. If men are vicious it is because they prefer vice to virtue. If they are criminals it is because they have chosen a criminal course. If they are poor it is because they are ineffi- cient or slothful. If they make a failure of life it is because they neglect their opportunities and are not wilUng to pay the price of success. There is some truth here, but like many half truths it may become a whole falsehood. Granted that one man chooses to fol- low a vicious life ; but why does he choose it ? Granted that another is inefficient and misses his chances in life ; yet why is he blind and inefficient? The answer is hidden in the mystery of personality, we are told; man chooses as he does because he is what he is. But as an explanation this explains nothing. "Why does man prefer and choose the evil rather than the good ? It is aU a matter of natural depravity, we are assured ; man is evil and being evil he naturally prefers evil to good. Then why do not all men so choose all of the time and under all circumstances ? It is the grace of God acting upon the hearts and wills of men that move and induce them to refuse the evil and choose the good, we are informed. Then does this imply that the grace of God comes to some men with irresistible power and not to all men in the same way ? The deeper we go into human life the more clear it becomes that many things influence the will and induce certain courses of conduct. As a matter of fact heredity determines much in life; it determines whether a life shall begin its 52 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY journey with tainted blood and weighted will ; it de- termines in a large measure the power of the soul to see visions and dream dreams. Then, from the hour of birth environment begins to colour and influence the life and to decide whether one shall have a bent towards good or towards evil, and shall find it hard or easy to do right. All the way through life, out of the environment come many voices, some sweet and tender and cheering, some harsh and repellent and tempting, ■ to woo the soul into the way of light and love or to drive it away into darkness and evil. Granted that the wiU is a creative first cause ; granted that every man is the maker of his own life and the son of his own deeds ; yet as a matter of fact the atmosphere in which he lives affects his whole inner life and exerts a constant pressure upon his will. And so it is that from the cradle to the grave environment acts and re- acts upon the life to move it and to mould it. The most fateful years in life are the first five ; and this is the time when the life is subject to its environment and before self -consciousness and self-direction are aroused. In a large sense man's life has its bent and direction, its colour and tone before it has begun to reason and choose. It is a fact accepted by aU leading sociologists that man is a psychic being; the world of human society is not the grinding of machinery but the play of psychic factors. That is to say, men's sentiments, feel- ings, ideas and ideals determine their thought and voli- tions. Analyzing these more in detail we may say that their sentiments and ideas, of freedom and love, of justice and honesty, and the like determine their actions and conduct. But where do men get their notions and ideas ? They do not drop ready made out of the sky. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 53 And they do not grow up spontaneously out of the soil of human life. They are derived rather from "the actual life of simple and wide-spread forms of society, like the family, or the play group." Men's ideas of justice and right, of honesty and goodness, are part and parcel of their whole psychic experience ; as any one can see for himself men's particular conceptions of what is right and wrong, just and unjust are coloured and determined by their particular social atmosphere and social fellowship. The standards are social before they are individual ; before the individual is old enough to discern for himself between right and wrong he has lived in the presence of social standards which have determined his particular judgments. "We say that men ought to do right and love God ; but they will not want to do right unless right is a part of the group standard ; they wiU not be interested in religious things unless they are suggested by their social atmosphere. In the most real sense to have good men we must have a good social order. Second : To save one we mmst save all. According to the Christian Scriptures the human race has become involved with Adam in a solidarity of sin and need ; through the disobedience of one the many are made sinners ; in some way the sin of the first man reaches through all his descendants and affects every child born into the world.' There have been statements of this truth so hard, so repugnant, so artificial that they have cast a shadow across the eternal throne and have outraged the best instincts of humanity. That men should outgrow these conceptions, that they should turn from them in weariness and wrath, is perhaps in- ' Som. V, 54 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY evitable and necessary. But strangely enougli in this time when the old theological doctrine is losing its hold upon men the study of sociology is enunciating the same truth in terms even more positive and inclusive. To- day it is becoming most certain that the sia of one man reaches through all generations and affects every child of the human race. The race is so truly one that the sin of the first man lives on in others involving endless and world-wide consequences. Call it what we will, — terms signify little — the fact remains that the race is involved in a solidarity of sin and need and bondage. The evil results of one man's deeds do not end with the person but they involve and affect all the relations of his being. " Humanity is not an aggregate of atoms ; it rather re- sembles a tree whose leaves are distinct while at the same time they partake of the common life and quali- ties of the stem with which they are organically con- nected." ' As the diseased hand affects the health of the whole body, so the condition of one man affects the life of the whole race. Not only so, but the sin in the heart of man ex- presses and realizes itself in and through the multiplex relations of his being and vitiates them all. Sin may reveal itself not only in the individual life in wrong motives but in the social realm in wrong relations. It may embody itself in wrong sentiments, in selfish cus- toms, in unjust practices, in hurtful institutions. So- ciety instead of being the kindly matrix in which the unfolding life is nurtured iuto fullness of being and beauty of character becomes the malignant nurse by whom the incipient life is hurt and poisoned. No man need be a social philosopher to know that something is ' Somerville, "St, Paul's Conception of Chriat," p. 86. THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 55 wrong in the social, the political, the iaduatrial rela- tions of men. The sin and selfishness in the heart and will of man manifest themselves in the manifold acts of his being and permeate the multiform relations of his life. But even beyond this the actions of man may have a wider reach and may involve cosmic conse- quences. In reading the account of the beginnings of sin in Genesis we find the intimation that in some way nature became involved in the sin of man. Milton says: " Earth felt the wound, and nature from her seat Sighing through all her works, gave sign of woe That all was lost." The Scriptures give no warrant for the doctrine that matter in itself is evil ; but they plainly imply that the ground has been cursed for man's sake. The poison in the heart of man has passed out into the unconscious instruments and circumstances of his crime and has af- fected them. "According to the Bible there would appear to be some mysterious sympathy between man and nature. Man not only governs nature but he in- fects and informs her. As the moral life of the soul expresses itself in the physical life of the body for the latter's health or corruption, so the conduct of the human race affects the physical life of the universe to the farthest Mmits of space." ' Paul declares that the whole creation became subject to vanity in and through man and it groans and travails together with man, waiting for the redemption of man. Between man and nature there is the most vital bond of unity and soli- •Geo, Adam Smith, "Isaiah," Vol. I, p. 419. 56 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY darity. In some way the sin of man has projected it- self into the physical world and has corrupted and des- olated it. Sin is a kind of dynamic introduced into the scheme of nature which fills it with confusion and disorder. The laws of nature continue as before, as Horace Bushnell has pointed out, but the conjunction of causes is unnatural ; man sets causes to work whose outcome in nature is malevolent and destructive. We know only too sadly how the misdeeds of men have cast a shadow and blight over the whole animal crea- tion. We know also how man's greed and blunders have turned some of the fairest spots of earth into hot- beds of fever and disease. Many of the once most fertile lands of the globe are now barren wastes because of the crimes and abuses of man. According to the Scriptures the second Adam has come and has wrought the redemption of the world. We have seen how the whole race is involved in a soli- darity of sin and need ; how the whole social order is affected, and how the whole creation itself is involved in travail and expectation waiting for the redemption of man. This truth, so solemn, so real, so momentous does not stand alone but is parallelled and matched by the other great truth that the world in Christ has be- come partaker in a solidarity of redemption and life, a redemption that is world-wide, all-inclusive, as broad as the creation itself. Many things are implied in this which are worthy of the most careful consideration; but we can notice only one or two here. This means for one thing that the redemption is wide-reaching and all-inclusive. There have been in- terpretations of Christianity so hard, so narrow, so ex- clusive that we do not wonder the world has turned THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 57 away in disappointinent and despair. The great word redemption has been used in such a narrow and me- chanical sense that it has been robbed of its divine and wonderful meaning. Eedemption is a most compre- hensive word and compasses every relation and realm of man's being. The meaning of the word circum- scribes a circle which gathers up in its significance the whole purpose of God in the world. The man who is completely saved is saved in all his relations, body, mind and spirit, family, church and society. The re- demptive purpose of Christ is as wide as human life and as comprehensive as the kingdom of God. This re- demption is a unity, a whole, a totality ; it means that man cannot be saved in sections and fragments ; no man is completely saved till he is saved in all the rela- tions of his being and all the realms of his life. This means further that the redemption of one man is fulfilled in and through the redemption of his fellows. "The individual is only a citizen," says Martensen, " and can therefore also only become perfected with the whole people of God on earth." ' Life is a matter of re- lationships and the rightening and perfecting of these relations is the redemption and fulfillment of life. Each term of a relation involves the fortune and fate of the other. A relation is not perfect while either term is imperfect. The redemption of man is the rightening of the relations of his being, and the work of redemp- tion goes forward as fast and as far as these relations are rightened. And so it becomes evident that the re- demptive purpose of Christ is fulfilled in and through the redemption of the family and social relationships of man, as well as through his personal and spiritual '"Ethioa, Individual," p. 166. 58 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY being. The crowning, culminating thought of revela- tion is not the salvation of men out of the world, but the salvation of men in the world ; it is not an indi- vidual but a social goal. The Holy City which he " who saw the Apocalypse " reveals is not so much a place as a people ; it is a city in which human life is most intense, human dependencies are most real and human ministries are most necessary. Upon our sight there breaks the vision of a city in which dwelleth righteousness, a humanity by the services and sacrifices of its members building itself up in love, in which each man seeking the welfare of others has supplied to Mm that which is lacking in himself, a humanity growing up into Christ in all things through the mutual exchange of spiritual services and fellowships. Our very ideal forbids us to hope to attain self-completeness and self- sufficiency. The perfection of each man here or here- after is bound up with the perfection of the whole peo- ple of God. No man can attain unto salvation in all the reach and fullness of the word till the world of which he is a part is saved. Not until the race is finally made one in Christ, not until the last man is in right relations with his fellows so that the fellowship of each with all and aU with each is complete, can man be fully saved and made perfect. Perfection in the sense of self-sufficiency is out of the question for this world and for any world. No man can be perfect in an imperfect world. And this redemptive purpose involves and demands the redemption of the whole social order. The ulti- mate purpose of God in the world contemplates the creation of a perfect man in a perfect society. These two elements and factors, the person and the society, THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 59 blend into one and each implies the other. Nothing less or lower than the perfection of man can be accepted as the end of Christianity. But careful analysis shows that this implies and involves the perfection of the in- dividual and of the society ; the redemption of man is fulfilled in and through the perfection of his personal and his social life ; and the one process goes forward just as fast and as far as the other. It is only as man comes into relations with other men that he comes into the full knowledge of himself ; it is only as he attains to the realization of the social end that he can attain unto the realization of the personal end. " In so far as we come into relations to other human beings in the world, we are attaining to a partial realization of the ideal which our rational nature sets before us. And there is no other way by which we can come to such a realization. It is only in the lives of other human beings that we can find a world in which we can be at home." ' There is a great deal more in this than is sometimes supposed. The person and the society are mutually and intimately means and ends, causes and effects. " In the fulfillment of this for ourselves there is mvolved the realization of the lives of other intelligent beings ; since it is only in the fulfillment of their intel- ligent natures that our own can receive its fulfillment." "^ No man can make the most of himself except in and through the common life. Men can enter into the full- ness of life and blessedness only in and through the life and blessedness of mankind. What God wiUs for one man can be realized only through what He wiUs for all men. 'Mackenzie, " Introdnction to Social Philosophy," p. 260. •iJid., p, 261. 60 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY And now we begin to see the bearing of all this upon the subject before us. To save a man is to save him in all the relations of his being. To save others is the only way to be saved oneself. We can realize our true selves only by realizing social ends. Humanity is bound in the bondage of the least and lowliest of the race. " Eemember them that are in bonds," pleads the Apostle, "as bound with them." The bondage, the shame, the misery of one is the burden, the shame, and misery of all. "No man can be happy," Herbert Spencer reminds us, " till all are happy ; and no man can be free till all are free." " There will be no true culture," says William Clarke, " but only a dilettante- ism, until we have a common culture." " There wiU be no pure air for the correctest Levite to breathe," says Prof. Henry Jones, " till the laws of sanitation have been applied to the moral slums." The fortune and fate of the men on the other side of the globe are our for- tune and interest. Society may draw its imaginary lines of national and social distinctions and may resolve that Jews shall have no dealings with Samaritans. But the facts of solidarity take no account of these imagi- nary lines. The lowest man in the race reaches up and touches the highest. The plague and pestilence bred in the social quagmire are sometimes the most effective preachers of human brotherhood, and teach in emphatic terms that God hath made of one blood all nations of men. We may walk the streets with no concern for our brothers, but a hot breath from a neglected brother may send us home to sicken and die. There is no one section of society which can isolate and insulate itself from the world of which it is a part and be secure and at peace. The sin, the misery, the need of the last man THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 61 are our burden, our shame, our reproach. The fate of one people is interwoven with the fate of all people. As no nation can exist half slave and half free, so the world cannot exist half Christian and half pagan. The Christianity of one part must hold itself in trust to transform the paganism of the other part; and the paganism of one part lowers the tone of the other. The kingdom of God cannot fuUy come in any nation till it comes in aU nations. Not one square yard of the earth's surface can be fuUy Christianized till the whole earth is Christian. There are no Chinese walls high enough to shut in one nation and to shut out aU foreign influences. To purify and save the hf e of Britain or America it is necessary to save and purify the life of Hongkong and Constantinople. In the most real sense the redemption and perfection of one man implies and necessitates the redemption and perfection of the whole social order. In and through the redemption and per- fection of human society the redemption and progress of the one man is realized and fulfilled. TJw problem of salvation to-day is ths problem of social salvation. The lines of inquiry, as any one can see, all converge at one point and lead to the one conclusion. The great problems before men to-day are social problems, and being such they require a social solution. Crime, pov- erty, misery, failure, — some of the social problems of this time — aU have social causes, and hence they can be cured, if they are cured at aU, not by individual ef- fort alone but by coUeotive action. Social conditions determine a hundred things in human lives, both be- fore and after conversion ; and social conditions by the very nature of the case cannot be changed by individ- ual effort alone. The social problem itself — the prob- 62 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY lem how men are to live together in justice and peace and share in the common inheritance on terms of equality, the problem how to remove the social and economic handicaps that are upon many and to give them a fair start in life, the problem how to equalize opportunity and thus enable each life to realize its highest capabilities, the problem how to use the re- sources of society in promoting the welfare of the peo- ple and of bringing the disinherited into the family circle and giving them a true inheritance in life, is a social problem and can be solved only by social action. The work of philanthropy has a social aspect and it re- quires social action. Christian charity we all admit is very beautiful, the charity that feeds the hungry, nurses the sick, visits the prisoner and lifts the fallen ; but charity alone, the charity that deals with results and never cures causes, can never achieve the salvation of society and permanently benefit mankind. Social love, the love that goes back to causes, that helps men to help themselves, that deals with the causes and con- ditions of crime and poverty and misery, that seeks to remove bad causes and to set good causes to work, that seeks to understand the mighty factors of heredity and environment and enlists them in the work of man's re- demption, — this social love and this alone can achieve the permanent progress of the race and cure the ills of society. The work of city saving to-day is a social problem and as such it requires social action. And last of all, the work of men in behalf of man's redemption must be social no less than individual in its aim and method. Christian effort to-day must be so- cial as well as personal ; it must seek to turn men unto righteousness and it must associate men in right rela- THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 63 tions ; it must lift up the fallen and it must remove the stumbling-blocks over which men stumble; it must save men from sin, and it must make straight paths for men's feet ; it must seek to make men like Christ, and it must seek to bmld a social order in which one can practice the virtues of Christianity ; iu short it must create a social order that shall make for the strength, the development, the protection, the perfection, of all its members. Thus the whole problem sums itself up in the one problem how to socialize men, how to asso- ciate them in right relations, how to set them upon their feet and enable them to maintain their footing in society, how to use all the resources of society in be- half of all the people, how to make a just and fraternal and Christian social order, how to make a perfect man in a perfect society. BIBLIOGEAPHY Hobson : "The Social Problem." Lankester : "The Kingdom of Man." Batten: "The Redemption of the Unfit," The American Journal of Sociology, September, 1908. Strong : "The Challenge of the City." Henderson: " Modern Methods of Charity." Ill THE SOCIAL NATUEE OF CHEISTIANITY THE processes of ^history are setting before the men of to-day some problems which they can neither evade nor deny. And the provi- dences of God are summoning the men of this time to a great task which they must accept and f ulfiE ia all its length and breadth. The nature of these processes is suggested in what has been said in the preceding chapter concerning the problems and conditions of society. The character of this task is made very plain in what follows in this chapter concerning the social nature of Christianity. In that chapter we saw that several lines of inquiry converge at the same point and lead to the same conclusion. In this chapter we may see that several other lines of inquiry converge at the same point and indicate the supreme duty. In this chapter we are concerned with those lines of providence which are found running through the life of the world. That is, we are concerned with that purpose of God which is interpreted in the Christian revelation and disclosed in the nature of man. I. The Kingdom of God on Eakth 1. One of the most marked characteristics of this time is a new interest in the kingdom of God and a new conception of its meaning. In fact so intense is this interest in the idea of the kingdom that it may be called the master thought of our time. And so new 64 THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 65 and significant is this conception of the kingdom that it is little else than a new revelation from heaven. For nineteen hundred years and more men have talked of the kingdom of God, and from millions of hearts there has gone up the unceasing prayer : Our Father who art in heaven : Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth even as in heaven. For sixty generations and more men have sought the kingdom of God and have construed duty in terms of its life. But as we survey these ages of Christian his- tory and watch the efforts of men to extend the king- dom we find that their conceptions of this kingdom have run the whole gamut of possible variety. In fact, as we study these diverse conceptions we might almost suppose that we were studying the different conceptions of different religions rather than the changing concep- tions of the one religion. And we find also as we study these changing conceptions of the kingdom that men's ideals of life and duty have varied greatly from gener- ation to generation. Indeed, so various are these ideals that life and duty have meant almost contradictory things from time to time. It is needless here to con- sider these various conceptions in detail ; but none the less against the background of these past conceptions we may view that truth which the Spirit of God is showing unto the men of to-day. The first conception of the kingdom, the one that prevailed in the early Church, viewed the kingdom of God as the Messianic kingdom, to be established by the 66 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY returning Christ. Here the kingdom connoted a vis- ible Jewish kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital city ; in this city the Christ was to reign as an earthly king, giving law to the nations and permitting them to share in the blessings of God. This conception, it may be said, was the one that fiUed the minds and hearts of the people around the Christ ; and it was also the con- ception that dominated the minds of Christian believers for two generations after Christ's ascension. In course of time, by the logic of events, this conception feU into the background and another conception came into the foreground. Now the conception of the kingdom of God becomes synonymous with the Church of Christ, and the making of the Church meant the making of the kingdom. This interpretation slowly developed in the primitive Church, but it first received definite state- ment in Augustine's " De Civitate Dei." It is true that the Church and the kingdom were never wholly equiva- lent and interchangeable terms ; but none the less they were practically synonymous and the one implied the other. This great conception became historic in the Koman Catholic Church, though it is not by any means limited to this division of Christendom. For fifteen hundred years the mighty personality of Augustine has dominated the thought of "Western Christendom and has largely determined the type of theology, and hence this conception has held such a commanding place. 2. In all ages of the Church there have been many believers who have gone to the other extreme and have maintained that the kingdom of God is nothing else than the life of God within the soul of man. This con- ception is based largely upon the Fourth Gospel, in which the term Eternal Life is the dominant one and THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 67 seems to be an equivalent for the kingdom of God. This conception has appeared in all ages, but it is ac- centuated by two types of Christian thought. One is seen in the monastic ideal which has played such an important r61e in the development of religious life. The other type is seen in that school of Protestant theology that has emphasized the doctrine of justifica- tion by faith. To seek the kingdom of God is to seek an inner spiritual life; for does not Christ say: The kingdom of God is within you ? And once more others have thought of the kingdom of God as the kingdom of heaven in another world, to be entered by the soul at death and to be enjoyed in eternity. This conception early appeared in the Church and it has had many ad- vocates in aU ages. In fact, this is the prevailing con- ception in the minds of the rank and file of Christian people to-day; and this is the chief conception that finds expression in much current hymnology and devo- tional literature. The citizenship of the Christian is in heaven ; here he has no continuing city ; here he is as a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for a night. Which of these conceptions most nearly approximates the truth we need not here inquire. That no one of these conceptions fully satisfies the thought of to-day is becoming very evident. 3. In these latter times the Spirit of God, as we believe, is leading men into a new and larger concep- tion of the kingdom of God. It has been granted unto the men of to-day to discover, or rather to rediscover, the larger meaning of this great Christian ideal, the master thought of Jesus' teaching and the inspiring impulse of His life, to enter into its human and social meaning, to bring it out into the light of day and make 68 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY it the heritage of the people. To-day it is becoming plain that no one of these past conceptions by itself contains aU of the truth. Nay more, it is becoming no less plain that not all of them combined convey the truth as it is in Christ. Each conception is true enough so far as it goes ; the Messianic kingdom is a fact ; the Church of Christ is a reality ; the spiritual life is a blessed experience ; life in heaven when time shall be no more is a glorious hope. But the kingdom of God is more than any one of these by itself, or more than all of them combined ; it includes elements found in these partial conceptions, but it goes beyond them all and views them as parts of a whole and as means to an end. It is not possible to define and describe in detail this great new conception of the kingdom of God ; for at best we are only on the threshold of this great truth as it is in Christ ; and it is too early in the day for any one to comprehend the full-orbed truth. But it has become very plain that the kingdom of God is a great and comprehensive ideal. It is a personal good, and it is a social state. It is a good in time and it is no less a good in eternity. It is a uni- versal fact, the reign of God throughout His wide creation, and it is the realization under the conditions of time and space of the eternal purpose of God. The kingdom of God is the reign of God in men, and over men and through men. It comprehends the whole life of man and makes provision for all his needs. It is a society of men who do God's will and fulfill His right- eousness. It includes the whole being and destiny of man and binds heaven and earth, time and eternity, God and man together in a solidarity of life and blessed- ness. The kingdom of God is a great social synthesis THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 69 which includes the whole life of man, spiritual, moral, mental and physical ; its field of manifestation is man's personal, family, social, political and industrial rela- tions ; it finds its consummation so far as this world is concerned in a righteous and brotherly society on earth ; in fine it is a good for the whole man in this world and for every world. The kingdom of God is the growing perfection of the collective life of humanity ; it is the redemption of man's mental and moral and spiritual life ; it means a perfect man in a perfect society. The kingdom of God may mean much more than a human society on earth, but it is certain that it never can mean II. The Cheistiait Conception of the Kingdom The kingdom of God we have seen may mean much more than a human society on earth, but it is certain that it never can mean anything less. For this reason all those conceptions of the kingdom which limit it to the person or make it equivalent to the Church fall far below the conception of Christ. The purpose of God as defined in the kingdom of God on earth contemplates nothing less and lower than the creation among men of a righteous and fraternal and Christian society. For this reason all those programs of Christianity which contemplate anything less than the making of a new and Christian social order fall below the program of the kingdom. It is not necessary here to discuss in detail the program of the kingdom, but one or two elements of that program may be noted. 1. The Son of Man, in His own simple and yet majestic words, has not come to destroy but to fulfill. To THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY He has not come to condemn the world as evil and to set aside the order of things, but to reaffirm and fulfill the eternal purpose of God. He has come to interpret the purpose of God and to fulfill the redemption of the world, and to make the kingdom of God a universal and present reahty. In His life and in His teaching certain things become very plain, and these constitute what we may call the program of the kingdom. The program implies : The saving of the person by making him Christlike ; it implies the proclamation of the Good News to every creature ; it demands for every human being the conditions of a pure, strong, f uU and happy life ; it sums itself up in the creation of a righteous and fraternal human society, in which God is known as Father and men are known as brothers, a society with justice as its foundation and love as its law, a society in which every life has a true inheritance and where all share in the Father's bounties. According to the Son of Man it is the Father's pur- pose to establish in the earth a human society in which God's name is hallowed, God's kingdom is come, and God's will is done, a society where aU have daily bread, where men remove the causes of temptation from their brothers' way and destroy the things that are evil and defiling. According to the first interpre- ters of Christ the purpose of God contemplates the creation in the earth of a humanity that has become the habitation of God through the Spirit. The Apostle Paul never thinks of salvation as a purely individual gift to be enjoyed in isolation, but always in terms of human relations and social life. According to the Apocalypse the purpose of God culminates in the con- ception of a Holy City that has come down from God THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY VI and is realized among men. The Apocalypse it is evident belongs primarily to the present world and is a statesman's vision of the divine order of human society. According to the' New Testament writers the work of Christ is construed in terms of social hfe and never in terms of individual isolation. One may not agree with Kitsohl in all of his positions, but he has correctly interpreted the essence of Christianity when he declares that it is primarily social, and that the great truths of religion cannot be understood when applied in isolation to the individual subject, but only when explained in relation to the subject as a member of a community of believers.' The social, the collective, the human ideal is preserved throughout the New Testament and this compels us to think of the ideal condition as Life in a divine, righteous, human society. The salvation which Christ brings and earth expects " is not finished when a man is forgiven or has obtained peace with God ; it is completed only when Christ is all in aU — that is when humanity has been built up in aU its parts and regu- lated in all its relations by the ideal of love and son- ship that has lived from eternity in the bosom of God." ^ 2. Thus the men who are following the program of Christ and are seeking the kingdom of God are seek- ing to make the Good News known to every creature ; they are seeking to save men from sin and to make them like Christ ; they are seeking to secure for all men the conditions of a clean, worthy, human and moral life ; they are seeking to build on the earth a city after the pattern of the Divine City. Thus also the work of winning men unto Christ and training ' " Justification and Reoonoiliation, " Chapter I. 'Fairbaim, "Beligion in History and Modern Life," p. 254. 72 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY them in character, the work of building churches and sending out missionaries, the work of taking up stum- bling-blocks and making straight paths for men's feet, are all parts of a whole and means to an end, and that end is nothing less than the building up in the earth of a divine-human society. III. The Ideal op the Kingdom and the Quality of Its Life The kingdom of God in the Christian conception of things is a great social, collective, human ideal that is as all inclusive as the reign of God and as comprehen- sive as the nature of man. In this kingdom is gath- ered up the whole purpose of God in the world, and in this kingdom is realized the highest welfare of man. In this kingdom is contemplated not alone the salva- tion and perfection of the individual, but the redemp- tion and transformation of the institutions and relations of his life, the family, the Church and the state ; in brief the ideal of the kingdom implies a perfect man in a perfect society. The life of the kingdom by its very essence is an active, aggressive, missionary life — the kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened — and as such it is ever seeking to per- meate the world and to transform all things into its likeness. This is not aU, but this life of the kingdom by its very nature is a creative, organic, organific power — it is no vague and indefinite something or nothing, — but a vital and vitalizing potency — that ever seeks and finds expression in appropriate forms, a life that ever seeks to create around itself a body for its indwelling THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 73 and expression. "The Bible," said John Wesley, " knows nothing of a solitary religion." Combining these two things this is what we find : In the ideal of the kingdom are found certain great, form- ative, constitutive, architectonic principles which are at once the creative power, the regulative basis and the determining ideal of a human society. In the life of the kingdom is found an aggressive, all-permeating, ever-organizing potency that seeks to touch and quicken and transform everything into its own likeness. Thus in the inherent quality of life to conform to its type we have the prophecy of the future of mankind ; in the or- ganic and social ideal of the kingdom we have the promise and potency of an organized society on earth in which the life of the kingdom is fully realized. The life of the kingdom must touch and penetrate and per- meate all realms and relations of life ; the life of the kingdom because it is life ever seeks to conform to its type and to create around itself harmonious and appro- priate forms. Thus the life of the kingdom at work in the lives and institutions of men ever seeks to trans- form these lives and institutions into its likeness and to conform them to the ideal of the kingdom. The Mfe of the kingdom has as its sphere of manifestation the vari- ous relations and institutions of man's life, the family, the Church and the state, for neither the family alone nor the Church alone — in fact not the family and the Church together — can cover the whole range of life and include all of man's interests. By the nature of the case, therefore, the life of the kingdom must create social and political institutions as well and must mani- fest its quality through them. The life of the king- dom must either permeate and transform — and if it 74 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY permeate it must transform — all life in all of its rela- tions whether personal, ecclesiastical, political and so- cial ; or the life of the kingdom must be limited in its scope and excluded from some realms of man's life — which is nothing else than social atheism and is the aban- donment of all real faith in the kingdom of God. The ideal of the kingdom is a social ideal. The life of the kingdom is an all-permeating and all-transforming life. Life by its essential quality ever seeks to conform to its type. Christian, Tnen to he t/rue to their faith cmd their ideal in/ust therefore huild a Christian society. This is a truth strangely overlooked by many men who are most earnest in seeking the redemption of the world. And hence it has come about that these men not un- derstanding their real work in the world, and not ex- pecting the Christianization of society through any agencies now at work, have made few efforts to realize the kingdom in the wider provinces of life. lY. The Peefect Man in the Peefect Societt The nature of this task, finally, is revealed in the very nature of Christianity and the very necessities of life itself. There are two ways of looking at this question of man's salvation and perfection, but they both lead to the same conclusion. 1. The spiritual life is not an isolated something existing by itself with no dependence upon any other factors, but it is rather an integral part of life, for the present at least inextricably bound up with all we count most real. It is impossible to isolate the spiritual life and consider it by itself ; all life is bound up to- gether, and no part of it can ever be known apart from the whole. The spiritual life can never be presented THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY T5 to US as something single and isolated. "For that which is an abstract, single, and isolated thing, that which is fundamentally out of relation with all else, be- comes thereby a cipher, non-existent and without meaning. What reality could it have?"' Three things are involved in this which are all important. It follows that what we call religion is " not something apart from life, but in the very midst of it, knit up with the cell and with sex, with all human relations and employments, and tendencies and strivings, — inex- tricably involved in all. And we shall look for its glory not in a majestic isolation, but rather in its abil- ity to permeate and dominate aU life." * It follows also that what we call conversion is not an isolated fact or experience to be viewed by itself, but is part and parcel of Life itself inextricably knit up with the sum of life's experience. In the significant words of The Independent, commenting upon the strik- ing utterance of the veteran missionary, Timothy Kich- ards : " The point of Dr. Kichards' argument is this : That if endeavours after conversion are meant merely to cover the strivings to renew men's hearts devotion- ally without striving to improve men materially, intel- lectually and nationally, it would seem that only a small part of the kingdom of God makes headway. It is a fact that 'conversion in regard to material, intellectual, social, national, and international as weU as devotional aspects is a conversion towards the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.' " ' Any conversion that is real involves the turning of the whole man, and it af- 'King, "The Seeming Unreality of the Spiritual Life," p. 28. *Ibid., p. 29. 'Quoted by King, Ibid., p. 30. Y6 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY f eots all of his relations ; just so far as these conditions are fulfilled his conversion is a reality. 2. It follows, further, that what we call salvation is not a partial fact or experience, affecting only a seg- ment of man's being, but it includes the redemption of the whole life and is wrought out in the total ex- perience of man. Jesus Christ came to save man, the whole man ; not to save a part of the man, but to save the whole man in all his powers and relations. Man as we know him is a complex being, of body, mind and spirit, and the whole man includes all of these aspects. For the present at least the spiritual life has bodily conditions, and it cannot ignore those conditions without fateful error. And for the present at least the progress of the spiritual life is conditioned upon the condition of its bodily basis.' For the pres- ent also so long as man is in the body, any salvation to be real must mean the salvation of the whole man and must cover the whole range of his being. Thus, in the process of man's conversion and salvation it is just as necessary that his body and mind be won and saved as that his spirit be touched and renewed ; and it is a false spirituality which would ignore man's mental and physical life in the interests of what is called his spiritual perfection. It is just as necessary that man's physical, material, social, industrial and political Life be converted and transformed as that his spiritual life be touched and quickened. In fact, in the long run, the reality and value of his spiritual con- version as it is called will be measured by its effects upon his whole intellectual and bodily life. And in fact as we have seen his spiritual life will be known 'King, " Rational Living," pp. 47, 50. THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY YY and felt not as an isolated phenomenon, but as the tone and harmony of his whole complex being. In the second place, the perfection of the person implies and involves the perfection of man in all the relations of his being. The program of the kingdom implies the making of good individuals, but it demands much more than this. For the kingdom of God, it cannot be too strongly emphasized, is a kingdom and a society ; it is not an anarchy of good individuals, but a fellowship of brothers. By its essential nature it implies a company of people associated together in righteous and loving relations, with each taking thought for the others and aU cooperating towards a common end. The Son of Man, it is evident to every reader of the Gospels, never called any man to a life of indi- vidual isolation, but always to life in a brotherhood and to fellowship in a society. Not only so, but in all His teaching He considered man as a member of a social fellowship and He pronounced him good in so far as he fitted into this fellowship and lived for the common welfare. To seek to save oneself by oneself and for oneself was to lose oneself ; to live for aU and to lose oneself in the life of all is to save oneself. Since this is so the making of good individu- als can never fulfill the whole program of the king- dom ; in fact the making of the kingdom is necessary in order that the person may come to his own per- fection. 3. The perfection of the person is his perfection in and through the relations of his being. Man is by nature a social being. Life is a matter of relations. Eight life is life in right relations. One term of a relation is dependent upon the other term. Now what 78 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY follows as a matter of course ? The perfection of the person is his perfection in and through the relations of his being ; and the perfection of the relations of man's being is a necessary condition of his own perfection. According to the Apostle Paul society is the body and man is a member in that body. The time will never come when one man shall become a complete body, independent and self-sufficient ; ever and forever he shall be a member in a body and a part of the whole. Thus ever and forever he lives in and through the body, and the condition of the body to a large de- gree determines his own condition. The blessing of one is the welfare of aU and the welfare of all is the strength of each. No member can become per- fect by itself alone without respect to the rest of the body ; but through the health of the body in all its members the one member is made strong. One can- not have a strong hand iu a weak body ; the strong body provides the conditions for a strong hand. We may grant that this is an allegory and an analogy and that it must not be pushed too far ; but after all it sets forth one of the most vital facts of life. The person is a part of the race ; the race lives in him and he lives in the race. The man and the race are mu- tually means and ends, each implying the other and each influencing the other. By the very nature of the case the person cannot be made fully perfect alone ; he can become perfect only in and through the society of which he is a part. The salvation of the father is his salvation through the life of his family. The sal- vation of the brother is his salvation through the brotherhood. The goal of Christianity is twofold : it is a perfect THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 79 man in a perfect society. And these two factors, the person and the society, cannot be separated nor can they be pitted against the other ; they move on towards their fulfillment together and the perfection of one implies the perfection of the other. Society can be Tightened and perfected in and through the rightening and perfection of its members ; for no golden society can be made out of leaden men. The person is redeemed and perfected in and through the redemption of society ; the redemption of society is the condition of the redemption of man. Hence the response which man makes to the appeal of the Gospel must manifest itself in and through the medium of his social life. Hence also the attainment of righteous- ness by the person is measured by the degree of right- ness in his social relations. In the last analysis there- fore these two ends are not two but one. 4. Thus the perfection of man implies and demands the perfection of aU the institutions of his life. In view of what has been said it is evident that the perfection of man implies the making of a Christian home. As a matter of fact the making of the kingdom of God im- plies the making of Christian homes, and the making of Christian homes implies the coming of the kingdom. But life cannot be completed withia the sheltered pre- cincts of the home, for it demands the action and re- action of one hfe with many lives in all relations. On the other hand the home can never be so widened as to compass all human relations and include all human duties. The making of a Christian Church is there- fore a necessary part of the Christian program, and in the most real sense the coming of the kingdom im- plies the making of the Christian Church. And yet 80 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY the Church, be it never so Christian, can never become the whole kingdom of God. For as every one knows great sections of life lie outside the boundaries of the Church, and the Church can never be so widened as to include all these interests. "We must either admit, therefore, that large provinces of Life lie beyond the sovereignty of God and beyond the purpose of Christ ; or we must have some institution through which men can express their wider fellowship and through which they can cooperate in promoting the common welfare. Thus the full program of the kingdom includes the state no less than the family and the Church. For the state is one of the natural and necessary forms in which man's social Life expresses itself ; in the great words of Aristotle — words which all subsequent thinking have confirmed — " Man is by nature a political being," ' and the state exists not for the sake of life only but for the sake of good life.^ The state no less than the family and the Church is involved in the nature of man ; and hence the perfection of the state is implied in the per- fection of man. In fine the perfection of man imphes and demands the perfection of all the relations and institutions of man's life. Salvation is not the extrica- tion of the soul from its relations and the annulling of those relations, but his salvation in and through those relations. Perfection is not the denial of Life's condi- tions and the isolation of the soul by itself alone, but the perfection of man in and through the necessary social institutions of his being. Summing up this argument, we find that the making of the kingdom of God implies the perfection of aU the 1 "Politics," Book I, Chapter II. "aid., Book III, Chapter IX. THE SOCIAL NATURE OP CHRISTIANITY 81 institutions of man's social life. "We find that Christi- anity to be true to itself and to the idea of the king- dom must create a social order that shall cover the whole range of man's life and shall include all the re- lations of his being. This means that the program of the kingdom in its fullness implies the creation of a human society on earth in which the person, the family, the Church and the state all have their appropriate place and cooperate as parts of one great whole. This means that the perfection of man involves the perfec- tion of society, and thus " The whole body fitly framed and compact together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love." ' And now the truth begins to break upon us in all its meridian splendour ; now we begin to see the task to which we are fairly committed. In considering the processes of history we saw that all the lines of inquiry converged at the one point and led to the one con- clusion. And in considering the purpose of God as revealed in the conception of the kingdom of God we see that all the lines of inquiry converge at one point and indicate one duty. And now we see that aU of these lines of inquiry, the processes of history and the providences of God, converge at one and the same point and disclose one and the same task. The funda- mental conception of Christianity is the kingdom of God, a divine-human society on earth. The problems of to-day are social problems and as such they require a social solution. The new task of Christianity is now before us ; the ' Eph. iv. 16. 82 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY great work to be done by the generations to come is now clearly outlined. It is nothmg less than the huild- ing wp in the ea/rth of a new and Ghristiam, type of hxuman society. This means that Christian people are now called to undertake the task of social redemption in the confidence that the work to which they are called is the will of God. This means that Christian men, who have been seeking to make Christian homes and Christian churches, must widen their programs and must now undertake seriously the work of building Christian cities and making a Christian state. This task they cannot evade or deny without being disloyal to the kingdom of God, discounting the power of the Gospel and lowering their standard in the eyes of men. To this task they are fairly and squarely committed by the providences of God and the exigency of the times, and by the way they fulfill this task will they prove the sincerity of their faith and the power of their re- ligion. The fact that Christianity has created the highest and finest type of personal piety is not enough ; the fact that it has created the Christian family and the Christian Church tells us something about its power and its efficiency but it does not tell us everything. Now it must prove its ability to permeate all life and to transform society ; to-day it must prove its power to create a Christian type of social order. To this task the Christian discipleship is fairly committed by the Christian ideal, and to this task it is fully called by the needs of humanity, and nothing can becloud this fact or scale down this demand. The Christian discipleship cannot refuse this task without treason against the kingdom of God ; it cannot plead inability without confessing the impotence of the Gospel ; a Christianity THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 83 that is not adequate to the largest tasks is not worth any serious consideration ; a discipleship that does not do the whole work of the kingdom is making it difficult for men to have any interest in Christianity. The nature of Christianity and the processes of history have fairly committed to the Christian discipleship the task of building up in the earth the Christian type of human society. BIBLIOGRAPHY Brace : " The Kingdom of God." Campbell : " Christianity and the Social Order." Banscheubnsoh : " Christianity and the Social Crisis." Fremantle : " The Worid aa the Subject of Redemption." Gladden : "The Church and Modern Life." Ward ; " Social Ministry " ; by Ward and others. Patten : " The Social Basis of Religion." IV THE PEOGEAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION THE nature of the task before modern Chris- tianity suggests the program of social action. This task as we have seen is nothing less than the making of a better order of human society. The program it hence follows contemplates nothing other than the building of a Christian type of society on earth. What does this imply? "What are the steps that must be taken to reach this goal ? It is not necessary, and it is not possible to go into detail and define all the steps that must be taken and aU the tasks that must be fulfilled. But it is impor- tant, yes, it is necessary, that we have some conception of the work before us, that we have some sense of di- rection in human progress and that we know the lines along which the children of God must move in the ful- fillment of their commission ; in fine it is essential that we know whether we are seeking the whole kingdom of God or only a small fraction of that kingdom. A clear vision of the end to be attained is all important, a definite conception of the factors entering into the pro- gram is most vital ; then with this there must be some idea of the relation of one man's work to aU other men's work, with some correlation of plans and efforts ; but beyond this we cannot go and we need not care. The particular methods of Christian work and the special applications of the Christian principles must then depend upon the needs of the hour and the place, 84 THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 85 and these methods and applications cannot be named in advance. There are two desiderata that are essential in any working program of the kingdom ; with either of these factors ignored or nunimized we shall prove ourselves but fooUsh meddlers and shall defeat the end we have in view. Any program of the kingdom to be satis- factory must be Christian in spirit and scope ; that is, it must be motived by the spirit of love and brother- hood ; it must be interested in every man and must ap- praise every life at a high valuation ; and it must seek nothing less than the whole welfare of man, spirit, mind and body. And second, it must be comprehen- sive in scope and synthetic in method ; that is, it must take into account the various factors entering into man's life and character ; it must preserve what may be called the balance in reform and progress; and above aU, it must not misdirect effort at any one point to the utter confusion of effort at every other point. In the previous chapters we have considered the new task which the providences of God and the exigency of the times are settiag before men. And we have found that this is nothing less than the making of a Christian type of human society which shaU be the kingdom of God on earth. In this chapter we are concerned with the program which men must follow in the prosecution of this task. We shall therefore consider some of the things that must be done by those who would build on earth the city of God. I. The Making of a Cheistian Progkam 1. The first thing is to accept this task in good faith and then set about its realization. That many of 86 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY the conceptions of Christianity have fallen below the vision of Christ ; that many of the programs of Chris- tendom have stopped far short of the whole program of the kingdom ; that many Christians in fact have had no large and comprehensive program at all, is painfully evident to every student of Christian history and re- ligious affairs. In ancient and modern times alike there has been little vision of the great goal of the world ; and so there has been little conscious and col- lective effort to realize a large and constructive pro- gram. One of the saddest and most dismal failures of history has been the failure of men to take hold of the Gospel in its largeness and breadth in their insistent determination to mistake a part for the whole and to regard as ends the things that are simply means. In fact many of the programs of men have been so small and meagre that they can hardly be called Christian at all. Thus Albrecht Eitschl is fully justified in the statement that " since the second century nothing has less guided the Church in its efforts for social ameliora- tion than the ideal of the kingdom of God on earth in the sense in which Christ and His apostles used the term." Thus it has come about that men have stopped far short of the program of Christ, and Christian men have not only had no ideal for human society, but they have felt no obligation to undertake the redemption of the social order. It has come about from one cause and another that the programs of men have been much smaller than the program of the kingdom; and so they have made little or no provision for the redemp- tion of society. There has been little or no conscious and continuing effort to realize a large and comprehen- sive plan. They have said that the world ought to be THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 87 better, but they have had no large, positive, well-or- ganized, constructive method of making it better. It is true that in the generations past Christian work- ers have had some ideals and plans that were definite enough. But these programs as a rule have not been programs of social salvation ; in the main they have been personal and ecclesiastical, with little direct outlook upon the wide world. Many of these programs have begun and ended with self, and so they have been at cross purposes with the kingdom. To save the soul from sin and death and prepare it for life in heaven has been the beginning and end of much effort in the past. Many of these programs have begun and ended with the Church, and so they have ignored nine-tenths of life. To build up a church which should gather into itself the elect and good and keep them safe for the Bridegroom's coming has bounded the hopes and plans of many churchmen. In these conceptions Christian life, Christian service, moral goodness and spiritual perfection have been construed in terms of personal welfare and church life ; and by these concep- tions the other duties of life that lay outside the boundaries of the person and the Church were regarded as more or less non-moral and secular. It is true that many men in the Church have had a wider vision and have followed a larger program ; but so far as the rank and file are concerned it has never entered their minds that Christianity had any other object than to gather out of the world the Lord's elect and to keep them prepared for the Lord's return. In the generations past there has been progress, much progress, but it has been more or less haphazard and incidental. In all times Christian workers have preached the Gospel and 88 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY have won souls unto Christ; they have gathered believers and have built churches ; they have corrected great abuses and have made many improvements in human society ; but they have usually been opportu- nists and servants workiug for some local and partial good when they might have been seers of God and friends of Christ working for some great ends in a large program.' Thus far also the programs of men, so far as they have had any programs of social reform, have been largely negative and destructive. Certain evils have bulked large in the eyes of men ; and in the name of God and humanity these evils have been attacked. Far be it from any one to make light of the zeal and hero- ism manifested in the past and present in the warfare against some national evils, such as slavery, infanticide, the duel, the social evil, the liquor traffic, and many other vices. Much has been done and much is being done to destroy these evils ; and yet with it aU these evils show little signs of decline and decrease. We cannot here consider the reason for all of this apparent failure ; but one or two things may be noted. We have not always dealt with the causes and the roots of evils ; and so the results have been transient and doubtful. We have not realized that social evils have social conditions and relations, and so must have a social cure. There are no isolated reforms ; the evil is organic and the cure must be organic. 2. It is better to live on the small arc of an infinite circle than to compass the whole area of a ten foot circumference. One of the great needs of to-day is a large, constructive, comprehensive program of social ' John XT, 16. THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 89 salration. As a matter of fact we shall never be able to understand our own local and little work till we see it in relation to the whole work of God in the world. We never shall take up the work of the kingdom in a large and hopeful way tiU we see the great purpose which God is carrying forward in the world. We never shall accomplish the largest and longest results for God and for man till we see the relation of the parts to the whole and learn to correlate each man's work with the total work of the kingdom, "We need to remember that the kingdom of God is as wide as the purpose of the Eternal and the program of the kingdom contemplates the saving of the whole world. The world is the subject of Christ's redemption, and the program of the kingdom contemplates the saving of the world in all its parts and provinces. The kingdom of God we have agreed never means anything less than a divine-human society on earth ; and so the program of the kingdom implies nothing less or lower that the transformation of the whole world and the perfection of life in a human society in this world. The time has been when men who thought of the kingdom of God have thought in terms of saved souls and church insti- tutions. But the time has come for those who cherish the ideal of the kingdom to think in terms of Christian cities and nations. However it may have been in the past, the time has come for men who accept the ideal of the kingdom to expect nothing less or lower than a new and Christian social order. 3. And as a part of the new duty the time has come for men to frame some large and Christian pro- gram of action. The time has been when men were content to work away each at his task with little 90 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY knowledge of his neighbour's work and with no syn- thetic vision of all men's work. But the time has come for us to think things together, and to correlate all forms of effort in one great campaign. If religion con- sists in a knowledge of the goal and of the steps that lead to it, we have a very plain duty. We need some clear, definite. Christian conception of the great ideal of the kingdom of God on earth. And we need some large, positive, constructive and comprehensive program of action. Thus far we have had no such program ; thus far there has been little conscious and continuous effort to realize a definite plan and policy. And the results of this policy — or lack of policy — are to be seen on every hand. In the matter of city building — to take an illustra- tion — ^men have usually been opportunists seeing only the present need and working without any vision of what a city should be. Their work as a consequence has been haphazard and fragmentary and ineffectual, and one generation has had to undo much of the work of its predecessor. What wonder that our cities have been unsightly and unsanitary, with many evil elements and many demoralizing influences ? Not only so but the men at work have usually been specialists in re- form, each working away at his chosen task with little regard for his neighbours and with little interest in their work. " There is a sense therefore in which it might be maintained that our numerous social reforms are doing more harm than good. Persons engaged in them are often so busily occupied with special phases that the situation as a whole is neglected, and waste in time, energy and money becomes inevitable. One would not be rash in saying that the waste THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 91 through social vices is to a considerable extent dupli- cated by the waste due to the defective and com- peting methods of religious, moral and social agencies in reform." ' The time has come for the men of good wiU in every city to unite their wisdom and vision and faith in the construction of a city plan and program that shall contemplate the future and shall unite aU the forces of progress. The time has come for men to consider all the factors and forces that enter into the making of better cities and then to correlate and combine these towards the one end. "We must learn to think in terms of cities and states and continents. "We must make a place for the statesmanship of the kingdom and must have large and statesmanlike policies. We must view the field as a whole and must know the needs and the resources of the city. "We must plan campaigns — ^not skirmishes — and we must train Christian workers to be long term soldiers and not mere three months' volunteers. Suppose all of the men of good will in any city should thus unite their wisdom and faith and vision in the construction of a large and comprehensive program of city improvement ? Suppose these same men should then enlist for the long campaign and should make every effort and movement the working out of a large plan ? Is it not certain that waste will be prevented, efficiency wiU be promoted and the city that might be will soon become the city that is ? It may not be possible or desirable for the men of one generation to forestall or control the future, for the thoughts of men are widened with the progress of the years, and the ■Dealey, "Sociology," p. 190. 92 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY program of to-day may be outgrown to-morrow. But at this time of day with our knowledge of history and biology, sociology and psychology, it ought to be pos- sible for men to construct a comprehensive and positive program that shall indicate the true direction of prog- ress and shall lead to more united and intelligent action. In this age of science and sociology, with our knowl- edge of the factors of heredity and environment, with the intelligence and devotion that are found in the churches and in the schools, with all the achievements of the past and all the resources of the present at our disposal, it ought to be possible for men to frame some definite plan of campaign and to outline some positive program of action, in which each kind of talent wiU have its use, where every class of workers will have their place and where all men of good will will join hearts and strike hands in the prosecution of some great task. The time has come to accept the great ideal of Christ — the king- dom of God on earth — to frame a large and construct- ive program of action, to learn to think in terms of social salvation, and to make all our efforts deliberately land consciously telic. It is said that every soldier of Napoleon carried in his pocket a map of Europe and that he dreamed of a time when a great French empire should be established throughout the continent. How- ever this may be the children of the kingdom carry in their hearts the outlines of the coming kingdom of God and they live for the time when the city of God shall have been realized on earth. The first thing therefore is to accept the whole program of the king- dom — a new righteous social order in this world — and then set about the work of social salvation — the mak- ing of a Christian society. THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 93 II. The Pbogeam of Christianity In attempting to frame such a social program we are not working wholly in the dark ; for we have some very deiinite suggestions in the teaching and life of the Son of Man. 1. The outlines of this Christian program are sug- gested in the prayer which the Master taught His dis- ciples : Our Father who art in heaven : Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy wiU be done, On earth even as in heaven ; Give us day by day our daily bread ; And forgive us our sins ; for we ourselves also Forgive every one that is indebted to us ; And bring us not into temptation ; But deliver us from evil. That men may know God's name and may honour it ; that they may believe in His kingdom and may seek it ; that they may accept His will and do it, — ^thia is implied in the first three petitions. And all this, be it observed, not in some other world, but here on earth where men now live. Then implied in this and grow- ing out of it, we find certain specific things that have to do with their life on earth. That men may have daily bread, that aU men may have enough for their needs, that they who seek the kingdom of God are to seek such a social order that every man may earn and eat his own bread, this is clearly implied in one petition. That men are to forgive one another, that they are to put away the things that divide them, and then that they are to set men free from the dominion of sin as 94 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY they hope to be free themselves, this is plainly involved in another petition. That they may be delivered from temptation, that they are to put away the things that may become temptations to others, that they are to strive for a social order in which the things that tempt men shall be put away, this is a necessary part of the sixth item. That men shaU pray for deliverance from evU, that they shall remove evil things from their brothers' way, that they shaU Live to loose men from their chains, to free their minds from error and fear and superstition, that they shall lift the handicaps that are upon men, that they shall lighten their burdens and give every soul a fair opportunity in life, this surely is a task which they who offer this prayer are to fulfiU. But beyond this we have a more definite outline of the Christian program in the Master's own life and work. Perhaps the best statement of the program is given by the Master Himself in His instructions to His disciples. Twice at least He sent out companies of dis- ciples on missionary tours, and in both cases the direc- tions are substantially the same. They are commis- sioned to preach the Good News of the kingdom, to heal the sick, and to cast out demons. And the narra- tive plainly states that the disciples fulfilled this whole commission and they so reported to the Master. There are certaia local and transient elements in this com- mission, we may admit, but none the less it outlines Jesus' method of establishing the kingdom. And what is more significant it defines the very things which the Master Himself did in His work for the kingdom. But not always have the disciples since followed this large and comprehensive program. 2. The first item they have accepted and have THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 95 sought to fulfill, and in one way and another they have preached the Good News to men. This is proper and this is right ; and never must we ignore this item or minimize its importance. To tell the Good News to every creature, to win men unto God and to train them in Christlike living — this forever wUl be an essential part of the Christian program. But there are other items in this commission which are no less worthy of emphasis and acceptance. And yet the second and third parts of this charge have not been accepted by the Church generally as a part of the divine commis- sion. In all ages there have been parties in the Church — little groups of faddists often, offshoots from the main stem— who have believed in divine healing and have tried to raise the sick in the name of the Lord. But this part of the commission cannot be neglected by Christian men at large ; least of all can we be satisfied to have it interpreted in the narrow way of some di- vine healers. However it may have been in the past, the time has come for Christian men to accept this com- mission in good faith and to make it a part of their regular work. But here as everywhere we must in- terpret the teachings of Scripture in the light of the win of God as revealed in the order of nature. And interpreting the charge in this light it has a wonderful meaning and defines a plain duty. To-day we are learning that sickness and disease have causes, and these causes are more or less within the control of man and of society. It follows that the men of the king- dom who would heal the sick must deal with causes and must endeavour to keep people well. "We may not possess the power of healing the sick by miraculous 96 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY means, and it may not be necessary to-day — but this does not absolve us from all obligation. Now we are able to heal the sick by the use of nature's means ; now we may fulfill this charge by preventing disease. That is, it is the duty of Christian men to devise ways and means that shall make for health and strength among the people ; it is their duty to create such conditions in society as shall prevent fevers and plagues; in a word it is the duty of all men who would seek the kingdom of God to provide for every soul the condi- tions of a strong, clean, moral, worthy life. We sub- mit that it is just as Christian to work for sanitary cities as to nurse the fever-stricken children ; it is just as Christlike to labour for a righteous economic order as to dole out bread to the hungry ; and we submit that this is a wise and practical way of fulfilling this part of the divine commission. To cast out demons is an item in this program which must not be overlooked. It is not necessary to spend any time discussing the question of demon pos- session or even to consider the existence of demons at all. It is very plain that the men in the time of Christ believed in the existence of personal demons and in their power over men. They believed that demonic influences and powers incarnated themselves in human bodies and manifested themselves through human lives. The disciples believed also that the Son of Man had power over these demons and that He cast them out of human beings. And they accepted the com- mission He gave and went to work in His name to cast demons out of men. There may be certain local and transient elements in this belief of the early disciples ; but there are also certain deep and abiding principles THE PROGRAM OP SOCIAL SALVATION 97 which we must recognize. There is such a thing as evil in the world, and this evU manifests itself in the lives of men and the institutions of society. There are many things that are evil in all of our communi- ties in that they defile human souls and they work abomination and make a lie ; they are stumbling-blocks in the way of the people and their presence is a con- tinual suggestion of evil and a subtle solicitation to sin. Such institutions as the saloon and the evil resort, vile literature and impure shows, are whoUy evil in their influence and their presence is responsible for much vice and disorder, for the increased number of juvenile offenders and for the ruin of many young girls. "With reference to these evils and others like them the attitude of aU good men is perfectly plain : They should maintain an attitude of active and unceasing opposition. Whatever the stumbling-block may be our duty is plain: we must take up the stumbling-block out of the way of the people. "We must make straight paths for men's feet ; we must make it as easy as pos- sible for people to do right and as hard as possible for them to do wrong. And we have the means in our hands whereby we may destroy these works of the devil and may cast the demons out of society. In the Apocalypse we read that they, — the followers of the Lamb — overcame him, the devU, " by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony ; and they loved not their lives unto death." Not without reason is the word of the Lord called the sword of the Spirit ; and more than once we are told that this word is mighty in casting out demons and tearing down strong- holds. This sword of the Spirit, the word of brave testimony, is rusting in its scabbard to-day and Chris- 98 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY tian men do not suspect its power. Suppose the peo- ple of God could get the dust out of their eyes and could see things as they are ; suppose they could give forth in one voice the word of their united testimony ; there is hardly an evil in society however bold or strong that would not be stricken to the earth and crawl away to die in the darkness. This is not all, but as citizens the God of nations has placed in our hands another weapon no less potent. Not in vain is the magistrate called the " deacon of God unto men for good " ; and we are plainly told that he bears not the sword in vain ; for he is God's servant attending continually unto this very thing ; being set for the punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of them that do well.' This is not all, but as sovereign citizens in the free state we have in our hands a weapon whose potency we have not yet suspected. In that little slip of white paper called a ballot we have a weapon that may be mighty through God in beating down evil and in casting out demons. "There is a weapon surer still, And swifter than the bayonet. That executes a freeman's will, As lightning does the will of God." In many of our communities there are evils that are bold and open because there is little organized and persistent opposition to them. In all of our communi- ties there are many nuisances that could easily be abated if some one would only voice a protest and lead in a crusade for their extinction. Some forms of evil it is possible may continue for a long time to * Bom. ziii. 2-6. THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 99 come and we may not be able wlioUj to eliminate them. But we can wage an unceasing warfare against them ; we can make their practice hazardous and un- profitable ; we can limit them and lessen their power for evil ; we can wear them down and crowd them out and can provide that they never shall become recog- nized and legitimated practices and customs. The work of taking up stumbling-blocks, of casting out demons, of making straight paths for men's feet, of creating better conditions in society, we submit, is a legitimate and necessary part of the Christian pro- gram ; and the time has come when we should accept this commission in good faith and resolutely set about its realization. The second and third items in this program we have not fully accepted as a part of our program ; and so we have not consciously sought to fulfill them in their full scope. "We have tried to preach the Gospel and to win men unto Christ ; but because of our neglect of the other items in the commission we have not always made most effective the first part of our mission. This is not all, but the power and efficiency of the gospel preaching — according to the promise of the Master ' — are to be proved in the signs that follow. Thus, as the people who hear and receive the Gospel set about the work of healing the sick and casting out demons, will they demonstrate the power and worth of their Gospel. In view of the life and teaching of the Master ; in view of His program of action and His charge to His disci- ples ; in view of His parting commission and promises, we are warranted in saying that the work of healing the sick and casting out demons is as much a legitimate •Markxvl. 17, 18. 100 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY part of our work as preaching the Good News of the kingdom and teaching men the way of life. In fine, it is just as necessary that some Christians accept the other items in the Christian program and bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, the open- ing of the prison to them that are bound, and the day of vengeance upon the works of darkness, as it is that other Christians tell the Good Tidings to the meek, seek the wanderers who have gone astray and comfort them that mourn. III. The Salvatiok of the Whole Man 1. There is one thing which is all determining in our thought and effort, and that is our conception of salvation. " The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost," thus far aU men are agreed. But the moment we attempt to define this term salva- tion confusion begins ; the moment we ask what Christ actually saves we find that men are the diameter of the world apart. Thus, for long generations and by mil- lions of men the word salvation has been taken in a narrow and partial sense ; they have construed salvation in terms of the soul's welfare and have limited their in- terest to one single realm of life and one single as- pect of man's being. To be saved usually signified to have one's sins forgiven and to have one's soul pre- pared for heaven. To be saved meant to be saved out of the world and to be fitted for some other world beyond the range of earth and time. Man's being was divided up into sections, into two, body and soul ac- cording to some ; into three, body, soul and spirit ac- cording to others ; the body is of the earth, earthy and perishing and so is entitled to little consideration ; the THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 101 soul is the essential and real man, allied to God and immortal, and so is the precious and priceless thing. The soul is the subject of Christ's redemption, men have said ; the body is a negligible quantity and does not greatly concern the Master. Besides, the man who takes much interest in his body is apt to neglect his soul ; let the body go if only the soul may be saved. If the soul has an eternal and heavenly hope why should man care what his earthly condition may be ? To be concerned about food and drink and clothing is to belittle the soul and to endanger its deathless glory. In aU of these conceptions salvation had to do with the soul and had little relation to the whole life. In all of these conceptions salvation was an end in itself rather than a means to an end. Men have thought of salvation not as the fullness of life here, but as the as- surance of a life hereafter. They have laid chief stress not on salvation here and now as life in the kingdom of God on earth, but on salvation in the narrower sense as escape from the retributions of heU hereafter and so as the rescue of the soul from the wreck of a perishing world. Let the world go, men have said, if only the soul may be saved. " What shaU it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? And what shaU a man give in exchange for his soul?" Millions of men and women, like the writer, have grown up in the Church and have lived in a Christian land, who for years never imagined that the purpose of Christ was any larger than that here indicated. It did not enter into our hearts to conceive that Christ had come to save the whole man, body, mind and spirit for this life as well as for the life to come. It did not dawn upon some of us tiU we were thirty years of age 102 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY that Christ had come to save the whole man and to build on earth a Christian social order. Our case was not at aU exceptional ; but exceptional or not we were not whoUy to blame for it. 2. In contrast to aU these conceptions we may set the life and teaching of the Master. He is His own best interpreter and illustrates in His life His own terms. According to the Gospel record Jesus worked for the whole man and He never made any distinction between work for the soul and work for the body. In fact He spent a large part of His time ministering to what men are pleased to call the temporal and material needs of the people. Twice at least, as we have seen, He sent out bands of workers, and in both cases the instructions are the same. They are to preach the Good News of the kingdom, to heal the sick, and to cast out demons. In the Nazareth synagogue He outlined His program, showing that He has come to bless the whole life of man.' At a later time He gave as the crowning proof of His ministry the fact that the lame walk, the blind receive their sight, the lepers are cleansed and the dead are raised up, and to the poor the good news is preached.' It may be said that the churches have usually given these words an almost wholly spiritual and in- ward application ; but in so doing they have perverted the plain teaching of the Master and missed the power of His example. The interest of Christ was not limited to what men are pleased to call the inward and spirit- ual life. He came to save the man, body, mind and spirit ; He came to save the man for this world and for every world ; He came to save man's years, his powers, his influence for the kingdom here ; He was not content » Luke iv. 17-20. ' Matt. xi. 4, B. THE PKOGKAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 103 to have a man waste his years in sin and then, repent- ing at the very end of life, to have his soul saved for heaven ; He was not content that men should have hungry bodies and unillumined minds, if only their souls might be saved from doom hereafter. In fact He knew nothing of any such conception as this, and it is certain that He would repudiate it as false and worth- In His teaching He is no less explicit and positive. As a matter of fact He never made any distinction between body and soul, treating one part of man as accidental and trifling and another part as essential and eternal. He never said one word about saving the soul : Save your life, was His constant and impressive charge to men. There are several instances in the Gospels where the word soul is used, but every student knows that the Greek word is loosely translated. Ser- mons and homilies innumerable have been preached from the text : " What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ? "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? " But as a matter of fact the word here translated soul is the same word that in a former verse is translated life : " He that findeth his life shall lose it ; and whosoever loseth his life for My sake shall find it." ' The nature of the say- ing necessitates this translation of the word. By what right then do we change the translation ia the verse below and represent Christ as confusing men by talking about the soul ? Save your life, this was His charge to men. Have a care for your life, is His warning in the Sermon on the Mount. Let your whole life be given to the kingdom of God and its service ; do not waste 'Matt. xvi. 25. 104 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY yourself on the purely incidental and accidental things. But the contrast here is not between body and soul, as some suppose, but between life saved for the kingdom and devoted to its chief end and life spent for self and wasted on trifles. The salvation of the whole man was the object of Christ's effort. And this it may be said is a much larger and more inclusive work than the saving of the soul. To save the life is to save the whole man, body, mind and spirit ; to save the life is to save man in all his capacities and powers and possibilities; to save the life is to save his whole existence, his days and years and talents for the kingdom and its service. Suppose the Son of Man were here to-day and saw men giving their lives to the gaining of the world, coining their time and their talents into gold, and yet aU the time counting upon having their souls saved by divine mercy. "Would He not ask sadly : What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own life ? And what shall a man give in exchange for his life ? Man has just one lifetime, a little gleam of Ught between two eternities, a little space in which to serve the kingdom and its righteousness. To spend this life- time gathering gold and seeking honour is to " miss the mark " and to lose one's life. To spend one's life seek- ing things that have no relation to the kingdom and its coming is to waste one's life and to make a tragic failure. The Son of Man came to establish the king- dom of God on earth, and His saving work for man must always be looked at in the light of this supreme purpose. The program of the kingdom contemplates the saving of the whole man, for this life and for every life. It foUows that the saving work of Christ contem- THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 105 plates the saving of man's life for the kingdom here ; and this is ^primary in His interest and fundamental in His teaching. The man who is saved for the kingdom is a saved man, the man who lives outside the kingdom is a lost man. The one is saved because he has found the highest good and is giving his life to its true end. The other is lost because he has missed the mark and is throwing his life away on false objects. The kingdom of God includes the whole life of man and is cotermi- nous with the whole purpose of God. The kingdom of God, it cannot be too strongly emphasized, is not here to empty life but to fill it ; not subtraction but addi- tion is the arithmetic of the kingdom. There are those — there always have been, there always will be — who teU us that the blessing of the kingdom is a spir- itual blessing ; the kingdom of God is within you, they say; the salvation which Jesus brings is deliverance from this world and its trials ; in fact the great work of life is preparation for quitting life. All this is some- thing more than so much quibbling about the transla- tion of a word ; it involves a different conception of the work of Christ and the meaning of salvation ; and growing out of all this it implies a whoUy different conception of the life of man and the duty of life. To reestablish this truth in its central place in man's thought and to make it the standard conception of the world is in a sense a large part of the present task of Christian teachers. 3. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. He comes to save men here and now, in their whole being with all its powers. Several years ago, President G. W. Northrup in a memorable ad- dress, in considering the hindrances to the work of the 106 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY kingdom, gave as the first cause the departure from the method of Christ, in laying chief stress, not on salva- tion here and now, the establishment of the kingdom in the earth, but on salvation in the narrower sense of the term, as escape from the retributions of heU here- after. Christ did not dwell chiefly upon salvation as pertaining to the future world, but as a good to be re- alized here, through the reign of love in the souls of men, constraining them to grateful and self-sacrificing labours that the will of God may be done everywhere on earth as in heaven.' With Jesus Christ salvation is learning how to live as the child of God ought to live. With him the first duty of life is learning how to live as a good citizen in the kingdom of God on earth. It is true that Jesus comes to save men from hell, but it is the hell of both worlds. He seeks to save man for the kingdom here, and the man who is saved for the kingdom is a saved man. With Jesus Christ the great work of man is learning how to live in the kingdom and to make one's life a service of God. It is true that He does give a few hints concerning the diverse des- tinies of men in the life to come ; true also that He does set before men the eternal issues of conduct ; but in a sense all His references to the future are incidental and ancillary. He assumes the future and He views man's life in the light of its eternal meaning ; but the kingdom of God as a good here and now fiUs all the foreground of His thought. With Jesus Christ eternal life is not a future attainment but a present experience. To have eternal life is to live in time the life of eter- nity." For every word that Jesus spoke about the sav- ' " Centenary Missionary Addresses," pp. 68, 72. 'Horton, " The Teaching of Jesus," Chapter XIV. THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 107 ing of the soul He spoke a hundred words about the kingdom of God. With Him the emphasis falls upon the present life in this present world. He looked over the world and He saw men living selfish, unbrotherly, unworthy lives ; they were living in the heU of a wasted manhood and a lost life and a wrong purpose ; they, the children of God, were forgetful or ignorant of their high privilege and their true end. And He came to save men from all this ; He came to bring them into filial and loving relations with God ; to set them free from the dominion of self and sin ; to give them new objects in life and to renew them in knowl- edge ; in a word to lift up the whole life of man into the light and life of God. Save your life, was the Master's charge to men ; save your life in the kingdom and for the kingdom. The acceptance of this truth will mean a complete change in the thought of Chris- tian men and wiU demand a complete revaluation of their methods of work. rv. The Cheistianization of the Institutions OE Man's Life and Theib Enlistment in THE Work oe Social Kedemption There are three great institutions known to man that are here in the will and purpose of God and are im- plied in the being and nature of man. Each is a me- dium through which God fulfills His purpose in the world, and through each the life of God is getting it- self reborn into the life of humanity. Each is a means through which man climbs the ascent of progress, and through each man becomes more fuUy man. Each aims to realize the ideals of the kingdom, to translate them into human lives and fulfill them in human rela- 108 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY tions ; each is a medium and means through -which man seeks the kingdom of God and promotes the progress of the world. The family, the Church and the state— these are the three great institutions in which the life of man incarnates itself; they are the institutions in which life completes and perfects itself ; they are the agencies and media through which the life of the king- dom actualizes itself in the world ; they are thus at once the result and record of the kingdom's power and the causes and condition of the kingdom's advance. 1. The moment we consider carefully this item in our program we see that it has two sides. It impHes the Ohristianization of these three great institutions; and it demands also their conscious enlistment in the work of social progress. Here is one of the most fruit- ful fields open before the modern student ; and it is hoped that some one may enter this field and may ex- plore its riches. This work we can simply suggest in this place. The family, the oldest institution known to man, is in some respects the most important. It is through the family that man begins to be ; it is in the family that he learns the meaning of fellowship ; it is in the family that his will is disciplined and his life is determined ; and it is in the family that he is fitted and prepared for life in the wider social fellowship. The family is the link that binds the generations together, and it is the rela- tionship that determines irrevocably a hundred ques- tions in every man's life. It is in the home, which Mazzini in poetic phrase terms the Heart's Fatherland, that the race is made and the future decided. No- where does the element of necessity press closer than in the family ; and nowhere is man influenced so po- THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 109 tently for weal or woe. A man makes no choice of his home relations, and yet upon these ties, which no hu- man skill can unlock, depend nine-tenths of his happi- ness or his misery. That the kingdom of God may come in the earth it is necessary that the home life of the world be transformed ; before this world can be- come the kingdom of God the family hfe must be Christianized. The family is one of the most potent agencies in the making of the kingdom, and the intelligent use of this agency is perhaps the most important work before the world to-day. Heredity and environment are two of the mightiest forces in the shaping of eVery life ; and these two forces work most potently in and through the home. Thus far however we have given very little attention to these forces ; thus far the family has not been consciously enlisted ia the work of race-making. The world has developed a science of stock-breeding and men know how to rear a thoroughbred horse. But thus far we have given little or no attention to the science of man-makiag, and as a consequence we do not know what to do in order to breed a race of thorough- bred human beings. The time is coming when we must deal with aU the influences that improve the in- born qualities of the race ; and then we must seek to develop these influences to the utmost. Suppose this factor of heredity could be better understood by the rank and file of people ; suppose it could then be brought under the direction of intelligence and con- science ; suppose it could be consciously enlisted in the work of race-making ; in that case the coming of the kingdom of God would be hastened by leaps and bounds. 110 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY The Church, the community of the Spmt, is also one of the important agencies in the making of the king- dom. It is not necessary here to define in detail the nature, the province, or the work of the Church, for this would carry us too far afield ; we may note only one or two things with reference to the Church and its function. The Church which has been called "The Social Eevelation of the Holy Spirit " is the community of believers in whom Christ's Spirit dwells. It is a God-inhabited society organized for the promotion of holiness of life in its members and for witnessing for the truth of the kingdom among men. It is a society in which the life of the kingdom incarnates itself, and it provides a field on which divine righteousness may be manifested and trained. It is a company of workers banded together to make known the Good If ews of the kingdom and seeking in all ways to uplift and purify the whole life of man. The ideals of the kingdom seek incarnation in some organized society, and the Church exists that it may witness for these ideals and may be the means of their realization in the world. In the Church — if anywhere — the life and truth of the king- dom should prevail, and through the Church men should learn the will of God. The Church no less than the family is a potent agency in the redemption of man and the transformar tion of society. For the Church is here to witness to men of the grace of God and to inspire men to seek the highest goods. The Church which teaches men to pray in terms of the Fatherhood of God is called to witness for the truths of Divine Fatherhood in face of the rivalries and antagonisms of men and to be the abiding pledge of the realization of human brotherhood THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 111 throughout the world. The Church which cherishes the hope of the kingdom of God is to be in every age the herald of that kingdom, and " the organ of the continuous unfolding of the treasures of spiritual wis- dom." • The great business of the Church is instruction, inspiration, moral discipline and spiritual nurture ; and so the Church works by persuasion and not by force ; it seeks to quicken the affections, to enlighten the con- science, to purify the insight and to arouse the will. The Church by its ministries, its services, its ordinances, and its fellowship seeks to introduce God to the human mind and to expose man's will to the energizing of the Infinite WiU. The Church also seeks to adjust and righten the relations of men with men in accordance with the will of God ; it points out to men the direc- tion of true progress ; it seeks to sweeten and transform all life and to infuse the Spirit of Christ into efforts for man's social betterment. Not in any formal and mechanical way do we conceive of the work of the Church ; but in its potency for the kingdom it is second to no other agency. Beyond the family and the Church is the state, the institute of rights, and this like the family and the Church is involved in the very constitution of man and is a divine agency in the redemption of the world. The state, like the family and the Church, must be redeemed and transformed, that thus it may become an instrument in the establishment of the kingdom of God in the earth. The state, the means whereby rights are conserved and life protected, is wrought into the very constitution of man ; the stateless man, as Aristotle long ago showed, is either above or below the ' Westcott, " Special Aspects of Christianity," p. 70. 112 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY human stage.' It is an ordinance of God for the es- tablishment of justice and is a medium through which He declares and exercises authority over men. The state is the confession of our personal incompleteness and is the divine provision for meeting this need. " There is no power but of God ; the powers that be are ordained of God.'"' Governments are instituted among men that they may express and establish the righteousness of the kingdom ; in the words of a notable document, " the state exists to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to men." In the great words of Locke: " The end of government is the welfare of mankind." 2. The state is thus a potent agency in the estab- lisjhment of the kingdom of God in the earth. For this reason the state should be about the King's busi- ness and should seek the kingdom's ends. For this reason men should understand the meaning and func- tions of the state, and should then intelUgently enlist this agency in the work of social progress. PoUtics at bottom is the science of social welfare and it has at heart the creation of a social order in which the great ideals of the kingdom shall be realized. As members of the kingdom the citizens of an earthly state must endeavour to have enacted and executed just laws, laws which shaU make for social peace and moral better- ment, laws which shall be a transcript of the Adamant Tables, laws which shall declare and maintain among men the righteousness and equity of the kingdom, laws which shall express in civil life the wrath of God against evil and shall train men in the practice of so- • " Politics," Book I, Chapter II. ' Eom. xiii. 1-10. THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 113 cial justice. Every man who believes in the kingdom of God and has a vision of the diviae meaning of the state, is to go out into the world and seek in all ways open to him the advancement of the race and the bet- terment of social conditions. He is to strive by all ways open to him as a man and as a citizen to make the will of God prevail in the social and civil, the na- tional and international relations of men ; in fine, he is called to build a social state that shall be the human realization of the ideal of the kingdom. The importance of these three institutions in the economy of hfe and the progress of society cannot well be overestimated. Thus far, however, in the history of the race the meaning of these institutions has been but dimly perceived ; and so these institutions have done their work in a more or less unconscious and haphazard way. No one will pretend that men gen- erally have yet attained to a full consciousness of the meaning and mission of these institutions, and no one will claim that they have done more than a fraction of their work in behalf of social advance. But more and more men are coming to see that these great institu- tions have a divine significance and that they are here to seek divine ends. Some time — it may be decades hence — ^men wUl see the meaning of these institutions and will consciously enlist them in the work of social redemption. Some time — we may hope it may not be generations hence — these divine institutions will dis- cern their divine mission in the world and will con- sciously seek the kingdom of God. 3. This brings us face to face with a most vital truth : That in and through the Church alone society can never be saved and the kingdom of God can never 114 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY be established. The Church it is fully conceded is a divine institution, with a great and necessary function to fulfill in the economy of life. But the Church after aU is only one of several divine institutions, all of which are vital and necessary to man's moral life and social perfection. In all times there has been a tendency to narrow the ideal of the kingdom to the conception of the Church and to make the two coterminous. It is not possible here to consider these two conceptions in detail or to trace out the causes leading to the confus- ing of the two terms and the substitution of the latter for the former. But it may be said that the confound- ing of the Church and the kingdom has been one of the most serious and fatal errors of the Christian cen- turies ; in fact it is an error that is nothing less than a dangerous and misleading heresy. It is a heresy in that it misplaces the emphasis of Christ's teaching from central things to " other " things ; and it has been a dangerous heresy in that it has beclouded the purpose of God and has caused endless confusion in the world. The kingdom of God is the all-inclusive term that includes the person, the family, the Church and the state. The Church is a realm of the kingdom in which its reign is realized, an agency in and through which the kingdom is revealed and established. But the Church is not the kingdom; it never has been and it never can be ; the whole is ever greater than any of its parts. The family and the state no less than the Church are realms of the kingdom and agencies through which it is revealed and realized. Just now, we are told, we need a more vital conception of the Church and a new valuation of its function. But we need no less a Christian conception of the family and the state THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 115 and a Christian valuation of their functions in the kingdom. It is evident from the very nature of the case that in and through the Church alone Christian people can never do the whole work of the kingdom. The Church, by the necessities of the case, has its special organiza- tion, its functions and methods. The work of the Church is vital and essential and must never be min- imized in one iota. But the Church can never fulfill the whole program of Christianity and do the whole Vf ork of the kingdom. It is essential that Christian men should love the Church and devote themselves to its work. It is necessary that the Church have all kinds of workers such as prophets, evangelists, teachers and interpreters. But it is essential no less that men should honour the family and the state and should use these as means through which they may seek the king- dom of God. It is necessary that these institutions should have statesmen, reformers, leaders and citizens. The time has come for Christian men to understand the divine meaning and social value of these great in- stitutions, and then consciously and collectively use them in behalf of race progress and social redemption. Probably nine-tenths of the people who regard the Church as a divine and sacred institution regard the family and the state as secular and common institu- tions. Doing religious work has meant attending church, taking part in its services, and working out its policies. Doing the work of citizens, attacking social evils and seeking better civic conditions has usually been regarded as secular and non-religious work. For many long generations men have regarded the Church as the realm of religion and have regarded religion as the 116 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY peculiar interest of the Church. This conception is passing and it must pass. Just now many earnest churchmen are in confusion and alarm over the lessen- ing hold of the Church over the lives of men. Eo doubt about it the Church has lost a certain measure of supremacy and centrality in the past generation or two ; it is not likely that it wiU ever again be regarded as the exclusive realm of religion ; it is quite certain that never again will Christian men regard religion as the exclusive interest of the Church. The fact that the Church has lost a certain measure of supremacy in the thought and life of men is sometimes interpreted to mean that men are less religious than formerly ; it may mean and we believe it does mean that men are gain- ing a truer conception of the kingdom and are begin- ning to realize that the kingdom of God is the interest of the family and the state no less than of the Church. The time has come for men to recognize the sacredness of all work for men and to know that in and through the family and the state no less than through the Church they are to seek the kingdom of God. The frank recognition of this truth will save men from much confusion both from the side of the Church and from the side of society. Just now there are many people both within and without the churches who are laying great stress upon what they call the social mis- sion of the Church and are demanding that the Church broaden its program and include this work of social salvation. There is reason in this demand, as this whole study seeks to show, but it is important that this de- mand be carefully considered. By all means let the Church broaden its horizon, widen its program and work for the whole life of man. But let us frankly THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 117 face the fact that the Church has no function to do this work of social salvation ; at any rate it is no more the function of the Church than of the other institu- tions of man's life. For as we have seen the Church is not the special institution of religion, and religion is not the special interest of the Church. The Church is an institution of religion, a vital factor in man's search for the kingdom, a necessary agency in the work of so- cial salvation; but the family and the state are de- signed no less to share in this same search and to pro- mote this divine end. The state and the family no less than the Church are realms in which the reign of the kingdom is realized ; no one institution more than an- other is the peculiar institute of religion, nor is religion the special interest of the one more than of the others. One of the most important things before the Christian world at this time is the clear conception of the divine meaning of these great institutions of man's life and the full apprehension of the fact that in and through these three agencies they are to seek the kingdom of God and the salvation of human society. These three great institutions aU have a vital func- tion to fulfiU in the economy of human life. Each is an agency through which man realizes the purpose of God in the world ; and through each the Mfe of God is getting itself reborn into the hfe of humanity. They all seek the same end, the kiagdom of God and the welfare of man; but each has its own function and method. The Church is the institute of faith and hope ; its special function is to testify of God and of His kingdom ; to hold up the Christian ideal in the sight of all men, to inform the mind, to arouse the conscience of the people, to hearten them for courageous living, 118 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY and then to send them forth thus taught, inspired and impelled, to hunger after justice, to seek the kingdom and its righteousness and to build on earth a Christian social order. The family is the institute of love and trust ; its special function is to mould the life for the kingdom, to be a school of social living, to train the growing life in the practice of self-sacrifice and mutual aid, and then to send forth its members to seek through the family the perfection of the race and to serve as good citizens in the civil state. The state is the institute of rights and duties ; its special function is to maintain justice in human relations, to seek after righteousness in society, to provide the conditions for a human, moral and spiritual life, to embody in its order the abiding principles of the kingdom, righteousness and peace in the Holy Spirit, and then to send forth its citizens to hallow God's name, to seek His king- dom and to do His will in all the masterful institutions of their social and political life. And this brings us to the last item in the program which we shall name : V. The Conscious Effoet to Build a Christian Social Order At this point we must pause a moment to note several objections that are brought against this whole conception of things. Against this background of ob- jections we shall see the truth in much clearer outlines. 1. It is said by many people that Christianity is a spiritual religion, and being such it has nothing to do with economic systems and political programs. Again, it is said by others that Jesus Christ came to give men eternal life, and this is a purely subjective and personal thing and cannot be limited by the forms of time and THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 119 place. Still others say that the kingdom of God is a personal and inward reality, for does not Christ say that " the kingdom of God is within you " ? And still others declare that Christ is here to save men from sin, to win them unto God and to build them up in Christ- likeness, and so Christianity has no vocation for the im- provement of social conditions. It is needless here to attempt to consider these objections in detail, for that would carry us too far afield. And after all it is un- necessary for our purpose after what has been said in an earlier chapter on the kingdom of God. There is, however, one thing that we may consider, for it is germane to our subject and it touches the very heart of the question. Granted that Christianity is here to turn men from sin and to win them unto Christ ; granted also that Christ has come to give men life, even the eternal life ; granted that the kingdom of God does begin within men ; and granted further that the divine life can never be fully revealed in the terms and forms of the human and temporal. Yet we cannot suppress the natural questions : What shall these men do after they are brought to Christ and receive of His Spirit ? How shall this new life manifest its essential quality and in what forms will it incarnate itself? What are these men of consecrated will to set before themselves as their life-work here below? A little clear thinking at this point will save us from endless confusion. In all times, as every one knows, there has been a disposition on the part of many Christians to regard salvation as an end in itself. To have men converted and fiUed with the Spirit has been accepted as the goal of prayer and effort. But as a matter of fact all this 120 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY is simply the beguining of the Christian life and only a means to an end. The ultimate Gospel is not indi- vidual but social. Men are saved that they may become citizens of the kingdom. They are regenerated that they may become living stones in the walls of the Holy City. But not realizing this, many Christians have narrowed the horizon of their interest and have addressed themselves to the upbuilding of their own spiritual life. They have lived in these cities of earth, so full of iniquity and misery and corruption on every hand, with open saloons, houses of infamy and city slums at every turn, and all the time have neglected their civic duty, have allowed the most notorious evils to riot unrebuked and been content to dream of a city in the skies where these things are aU unknown. They have been in the world as salt, but somehow the salt has not sweetened things and saved the city from cor- ruption. They have possessed the life and leaven of the kingdom, but for some reason it has not permeated and leavened the mass of dough. In aU times, it must be said, there have been some far-seeing souls who have understood the real meaning of Christianity and have earnestly sought to build on earth a righteous social order. Savonarola at Florence had the true vision of the kingdom and faithfully sought to make Jesus Christ King of the city. John Calvin at Geneva saw clearly that men were chosen in Christ that they might be good citizens in the new commonwealth, and so he sought to build up out of these men a Christian society. The moment we get the fog out of our minds, give over the use of pious platitudes and holy ambigui- ties about the spiritual life and begin to see things as they are and to use the language of reality, that mo- THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 121 ment we see that these men with the mind of Christ and the power of the Spirit are to join with Christ in seeking God's kingdom ; these men who know the will of God are to seek to make that will prevail here on earth even as in heaven ; these men who have the vision of the kingdom of God, who believe in the Holy City and hence know what a city should be, are to go out into the city where they live and build a city after the divine pattern. That is, these men who believe in the kingdom of God are to build on earth a social order that shall be the realization under the forms of time and place of the divine ideal. Several things are im- plied in this which we can simply suggest but cannot discuss in detail. 2. This demands the adjustment and Tightening of the relations of men's life in justice and love. Life at bottom is a matter of relations. Eighteous life is life in right relations, and wrong Kfe is a matter of wrong relations. By the nature of the case all the relations of man's life enter into the account, and no life can be fully righteous till all of its relations are rightened. The man who would be righteous must be in right relations with God ; but no less he must be in right relations with his fellows. Human Ufe is all one piece, and no man can be in wrong relations with his fellows and in right relations with God. On the one side, the man who finds himself in fellowship with God finds himself in fellowship with men. The Christ claims kinship with all men ; and these relations which the Son of Man sustains to the sons of men are not rela- tions which He can put on or oif at will ; they are in fact part and parcel of the essential nature of the Son of Man and the sons of men. Hence the man who 122 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY would be like Christ must like Christ enter into right relations with his fellows ; the very nature of Christ- likeness implies and involves Christlike relations with Christ's brothers. On the other side the man who would be man in all the meaning of the term finds that he can realize this end only in and through his relation- ships with others of his kind. That man may be him- self, that he may realize his true being, his thought and his neighbour's thought must meet and overflow ; his will must blend and interknit with their wills; through a mutual exchange of services their lives must interblend in some common social life ; in fine man can become man in the action and reaction of life upon life in social relations. Human relations are the fun- damental and sacred things in the world ; the rectifica- tion and adjustment of these relations in righteousness and love is a large part of the work of Christ for men. By the nature of the case this includes all of the rela- tions of man's being in all the realms of his life, his family and church relations, but no less his social and industrial relations as weU ; in fact the adjustment and rectification of these relations in all provinces of his life is a large part of the program of the kingdom. The kingdom of God comes as fast and as far as these relations are thus adjusted and rightened ; indeed the adjustment and rectification of these relations is the coming of the kingdom among men. 3. This demands also the collective and continuous search after justice. This is one of the central and positive items in the Christian program, and it should be primary and fundamental in all Christian effort. At first thought, this item may seem commonplace enough, and we shall probably be met with the objeo- THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 123 tion that this has always been the effort of Christian men. But the moment we consider this item in all that it implies, we see how novel and revolutionary it is. The first thing for the men of good will to do in their seeking of the kingdom is to maintain a collect- ive and continuous search after justice. What then is justice ? It must be confessed that the word to many people has a very vague and indefi- nite meaning. It is needless here to give the defini- tions of the word, for we are dealing with realities rather than with terms. But justice in brief signifies Tightness, equity, fairness, square-dealing ; to be just is to hold the balances even, to ask no more than one's fair share, to give to each his due, to treat others as one wants others to treat him. And justice, it is evi- dent, is both an ideal and a practice ; it is not enough foy one to talk of justice with his lips and to love justice in his heart ; but he must seek also to practice that justice in all his dealings with men to establish justice in aU the realms and relations of his Mfe. And hence justice is both a personal and a social law ; that is, there is a just and righteous manner of life for the person, and there is a just and righteous constitution for society, and the law of justice is the life of one as of the other. To seek after justice means the effort to establish justice as the supreme ideal and the daily practice of aU men in all the relations of their lives.' That this may be done two things are required. First, the Church must instruct the mind and train the conscience and energize the will in the thought and practice and love of justice. The Church we are ready to believe is here to instruct men in the way of truth •Batten, "The Clhristian State," pp. 372-375. 124: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY and to make them know what is the good and accept- able and perfect will of God. No other agency and institution has either the call or the machinery for the fulfillment of this task ; and the Church has both the obligation and the means. To do this work the Church must know the law of God and must apply it to the life of men ; it must make men know what is the just and equitable thing not alone in church relations but in industrial practice ; it must inform the mind and stir the conscience that men may be quick to discern be- tween the just and the unjust ; it must be a kind of incarnate Sinai speaking to men for God and making men know the meaning of His law ; it must so interpret the divine law that the word may be quick and power- ful, sharper than the two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and marrow and discerning even the thoughts and intents of the heart. One must not bring any railing accusation against the churches, but it must be confessed that the churches have failed more signally at this point than at any other. What is one of the most serious charges that can be brought against the churches of the past and in the present ? Is it not this that they lack the divine passion for justice ? Is it not this that many of the men most conspicuous for the injustice of their social and political and industrial life are yet the honoured officials of the churches ? In the cities and states of the modern world — and that where the churches are most numerous — the most high-handed iniquity in political and industrial life walks unrebuked and unafraid. In the churches and synagogues men guilty of the most open and cruel injustice in economic affairs and the most gross and bitter oppression of their THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 125 working people, sit unscathed in conscience and un- troubled in heart. For two generations and more the conscience of Great Britain, the real active, militant conscience, has been agnostic and dissenter. For a hundred years there has not been a bishop of the Eng- lish Church who has jeopardized his " coach and four " by fearless and outspoken protest against national in- iquity. And in America it is not much better. It is true that there are noble and notable exceptions on both sides of the Atlantic, but these are individual ex- ceptions and prove the point. The churches themselves as churches have not known any divine and flaming passion for justice ; they have not maintained a con- tinuous and collective demand for justice ; they have too often been silent when great wrongs have been done in the name of business and politics. They have been bold enough, to be sure, in the denunciation of un- popular sins, such as drunkenness and the social evil, but they have been hesitating where they have not been si- lent, in presence of the most colossal political wrongs and the most notorious industrial injustice. In America, in fact the leaders of the churches have been very jealous for the good name of the Church and have been very anxious that everything should be done decently and in order. For years some of the so-called leaders have gone around with hand over the heart, with heart in the mouth, and with the mouth in the dust, lest some in- discreet brother should criticize the commercial prac- tices and political methods of some of their money gods. A generation ago Euskin declared that the most ominous sign of the times was this that men had lost the power of hot and holy indignation, and the indict- ment stands to-day in Britain and in America. This 126 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY aspect of their calling the churches need to reconsider, and this part of the Christian program they need to fulfill. The other thing which the churches must do is this : They must arouse and inspire men to go forth and make justice prevail in the earth. It is not enough to cherish the ideals of justice, but we must make a col- lective effort to reduce those ideals to practice. This means that the men instructed and inspired by the churches are to go forth to testify against all injustice, to withstand every wrong wherever they find it, to ex- pose every falsehood without fear and favour, and to seek to ensure to each man his due. This means that these men of the churches are to make a collective effort to establish justice as the daily practice of the commercial world and to build up in the earth a just and Christian industrial order. That is, they must seek to secure for each person the conditions of a fair and human life in society ; they must see that gains received and privileges enjoyed bear some proportion to service rendered and obligations fulfilled ; they must put their faith and conscience in pledge in behalf of a just and Christian social order ; and they must strive together to establish justice as the supreme law and the daily practice of all men in aU the relations of their lives. This search after justice is primary and fundamental. It is vain to talk of a Christian civilization or to expect a Christian society without justice all along the line. In saying this we do not mean that justice is to be the only object of men's efforts, but we must insist that it is primary and fundamental. No society can be even remotely or approximately Christian that is not first THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 127 fairly and approximately just. There is a deep signifi- cance in the old story of Melchizedec the priest of God and the king of Salem. This man, whose name signifies the King of Kighteousness, dwelt in the city called Salem or Peace. " Being by interpretation first, King of Kighteousness, and after that also King of Salem." ' Other foundations for social peace and political prog- ress can no man lay than hath been laid. Men may seek to appease the poor and to help the disinherited by charities and benefactions, but no permanent solu- tion of any problem can be found in this way and soci- ety cannot be brought one inch nearer its goal. The willingness of men to make liberal donations for libra- ries and public buildings while quite unwilling to con- sider the primary matters of justice and equity, is the sign of a decadent civilization and a sleeping con- science. The determination to make justice the supreme ideal and the daily practice is the evidence of moral progress and Christian life. 4. This demands the conscious and collective effort to embody our essential life in social forms. Life by its very nature is organic and organifio ; that is, it ever seeks to create around itself a body in which it can dwell and through which it can express its essential quality. The ideal of the kingdom is a social ideal, and so it demands a social form for its realization. Life in aU its lower forms may be more or less unconscious in its methods and practices ; that is, it performs its functions without any deliberate aim and conscious effort. In man, however, life attains to self-consciousness, and man is able to set before himself a definite end and to direct the proo- » Heb. vii. 2. 128 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY esses of his life. In the chUd of the kingdom this life becomes fully self-conscious, and now man is able to apprehend God's end and to cooperate in the fulfill- ment of His purpose. The divine life in man cannot have its perfect work till it stands forth embodied in social forms and institutions that are the human reahza- tion of the divine ideal. Man is not man till he is wholly social. Life does not attain its end till it is expressed in organic forms. Thus the making of the kingdom means much more than the making of good individuals. The fact is there is no such thing either conceivable or possible as an individual who is good by himself and unto himself. Man is a being of relationships, and right life is life in right relations. The man who is good at all is good in the relations iu which he finds himself ; to be a good man means to be a good member of a social order. Man is a son, brother, father, friend, neighbour, employer, worker, citizen, and he is a good man in so far as he illustrates in these relations his essential life. And the fact is also that if every person in the world should be converted and become a good individual the kingdom of God might yet be far away. For the life of the kingdom is a social life ; the virtues of the kingdom are social virtues ; the righteousness of the kingdom is a matter of right relations ; the perfection of the kingdom is a perfection realized in and through the perfection of society ; the ideal of the kingdom will hence not be satisfied till we have men associated in just, righteous, fraternal, and loving relations with one another. To realize the ideal of the kingdom, to be- hold the virtues of the Christian life, we must have goodness and love expressed in human relations and THE PROGRAM OP SOCIAL SALVATION 129 incarnated in social forms. The kingdom of God is not an anarchy of good individuals. The kingdom of Christ is a social kingdom. This is a truth strangely overlooked by many who caU themselves Christians and seek the kingdom of God. This is the conclusion of the matter, that men are called to put forth a collective and conscious effort to associate themselves in right relations and to embody their essential life in social forms. 5. This contemplates a human society on earth in which the Spirit of Christ can find a home. Before a great audience a speaker declared that Jesus of Naz- areth is out of place in this modern world ; and the audience enthusiastically applauded. An English bishop declared that the teachings of Jesus are imprac- ticable and impossible in our modern complex society ; and the majority of men assent to the declaration. All this may mean one of three things ; it may mean that Jesus was a first century idealist, a sweet dreamer of dreams, whose life and teaching have some social value, and may have some relation now to certain spheres of life, but whose dreams and ideals are impossible in the present order of things and who Himself is out of place in this modern complex civilization. It may mean that the religion of Christ has little or no relation to every-day life ; that religion is one thing — good enough in its way and place no doubt — and our modern social and industrial life is quite another thing — that cannot be radically changed at present ; that certain great realms of Mf e must be conducted with little relation to religion, and religion must be limited to its own special sphere ; and that modern society has hence no caU to build a civilization upon the life and teaching of the 130 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY Son of Man. And it may mean — in fact it does mean — that Jesus Christ does not find Himself at home in our modern world for the very fact that so many things are wrong in this world. The men who believe in the Son of Man and pray for the coming of God's kingdom have just one com- mission : They are to f oUow the ideal of Christ and to buUd on earth a human society in which Christ can dwell and the Son of Man can find a home. The men who follow the program of the kingdom can never be satisfied till the world as they find it has become the world as it ought to be ; till the teachings of Christ have become both practicable and real in the whole so- cial world ; tiU there is built up in the earth a society that realizes the ideal of Christ, a City of God come down to earth. And so the men who believe ia Christ and seek His kingdom will consciously seek to live the Christian Life and to build a social order that Christ can approve ; that as the Christian husband and wife consciously and gladly Unite their lives to buUd a Christian home in which the Spirit of Christ can reign and each life is blessed ; as a company of disciples con- sciously and lovingly strive together to create a Chris- tian Church that shaU be a real fellowship of love and a real household of faith ; so the people of a community calling themselves intelligent and Christian will con- sciously and resolutely set themselves the task of build- ing up a society on earth after the pattern of the Holy City where every life has its place, where every soul has a true inheritance in society, where no one is viTonged and trodden underfoot, where aU men live together as brothers. In a word, the program of the kingdom is summed up in the one task of rightening THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 131 the relations of men, associating them in righteous and fraternal fellowship, interfusing their hearts in common aims, interlocking their wills in a common will, taking up hindrances out of the way, making straight paths for men's feet, giving every soul a fair inheritance in life, ensuring every human being room enough for his proper expansion, and embodying their essential life in social institutions that shall realize the ideal of the king- dom and in which the Son of Man can find a home. The kingdom of God in the Christian conception of things never means anything less than a human society on earth. And hence the program of the Christian worker must never fall short of anything less than the creation of such a kingdom. Suppose it were possible by the method of soul winning and evangelism to save every soul from perdition and save it for the kingdom in heaven. Yet this end, great and glorious as it may be, would be but a part, and in a way a secondary part, of the purpose of Christ. For, as we have seen, the program of the kingdom in its primary meaning is summed up in the establishment of the kingdom of God, and implies and demands the creation of a human society on earth. That man is made for glory and honour and immortality we most firmly believe. That there is a continuing life beyond the bourne of time and place is the plain teaching of Scripture. That man's life is dwarfed when it is bounded by the cradle and the grave the lives of many men all too sadly prove. That we never see the true grandeur and glory of life till we view it in the light of eternity we most positively aflBrm. But while all this is true, we must yet not miss the duty that is near in beholding the glory that is beyond. And so we come back to the 132 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY first items in the Christian program and repeat the proposition that our present business is to seek the salvation of all life and to build on earth a Christian type of human society. The program for the future life and the heavenly world has not yet been announced to us. The program for this life and for this world is plain and positive. This we may note, however, that heaven is pictured to us as a city. Hence the best preparation for heaven is the practice of citizenship in the cities of earth. The man who has the vision of a Holy City and lives and labours to build that kind of a city in the community where he dwells has found the way of life and knows the will of God ; such a one shall never fail in the life beyond but there shall be ministered unto him an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of the Father ; he will have the freedom of every city in the Great Empire and will find himself at home wherever he shall be. BIBLIOGRAPHY Dealey : ' ' Sociology. ' ' Ward: "Applied Sociology." StroDg : "The Next Great Awakening." Ward : "Social MiniBtry." Heath : "The Captive City of Good." Batten : " The Churoh as the Maker of Conscience," American Journal of Sociology, March, 1902. Saleeby : "Parenthood and Bace Cnltore," THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION THEEE are two practical questions that the world asks of its teachers and leaders. Is the ideal held up before men one which the facts of life and the order of the world justify and en- dorse ? Does it have behind it the prestige of the uni- verse and does it explain the processes of history? And is the method by which this ideal is to be sought and realized one which wiU lead most directly and surely to the goal? Does the program contain the promise and prophecy of the attainment of the ideal it- self ? Religion, we are told, means a knowledge of our destiny, and of the way which leads to it. Two things are implied here which are equally important: We want a Christian program ; and we must work by the Christian method. In the previous chapter we consid- ered the new social program ; in this chapter we are concerned with the method of social salvation. In any complete view of man there are four factors that must be taken into account : Heredity, Environ- ment, Personal Initiative and the Grace of God. At dififerent times and by different men the emphasis has been thrown now upon one and now upon another of these factors. In fact there has been the attempt of many to explain life in terms of one factor alone, and to minimize all the others. Thus, among theologians, there has been a disposition to explain everything in terms of personal will and divine grace ; these it is said are the all-determining factors in man's life and the 133 134 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY others signify little. Among modern sociologists there is a tendency to explain life in terms of environment alone ; according to some teachers man is a product of his environment, and we will have better men when we have better social conditions. It is needless to say that both parties are sadly mistaken in their view of man and his making. It is perhaps needless to show that such partial conceptions lead to a one-sided view of man and that they result in one-sided efforts for his uplifting. As a matter of fact aU of these factors are essential and it is therefore unwise to exalt one at the expense of aU the others. Where aU are vital all must be taken into account. Without in any sense minimiz- ing or ignoring the other three factors we here consider somewhat in detail the influence of the social factors upon man's life, and then mark our duty in the premises. I. The Economic Basis of the Spieitttal Life 1. In the study of man and the determination of his duty no question has been more interesting and practical than the ascertainment of the relation be- tween the spiritual and the material. Is the spiritual life an entity by itself, something largely if not quite independent of its material environment, a quantity or quality unaffected by anything beyond itself and so able to determine everything out of its own inner pow- ers ? As every student of history knows many good men have answered these questions in the afl&rmative ; in fact the answer is formulated in great conceptions of sainthood and organized in definite schemes of church polity. The spiritual life must be lived by itself and from itself, men have said ; man may have a body, but THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 135 the spirit must emancipate itself ; the spirit's life must be wholly independent of its physical conditions and must not be determined by them. And so we find men like the philosopher cultivating the spirit and ashamed that they have bodies ; we find saints re- nouncing all bodily comforts and] espousing the Bride Poverty ; we find men teaching that the spiritual life can be lived anywhere and under all conditions. There is a great truth here, more truth than the men of this age are likely to admit ; but after all this is not the whole truth ; and taken by itself it may easily become a great cause of error. In aU times there have been other teachers who have thrown the emphasis of thought and interest elsewhere. But not until these latter days has this conception been fully formulated into a coherent and definite system. It is needless for our purpose to trace out the begin- ning and development of this system ; nor is it neces- sary to describe the variations of it that have appeared in history. Within the past two generations, from the days of Karl Marx, one aspect of this doctrine has had many apostles ; and to-day it is finding expression in one of the most remarkable movements of the times. According to the apostles of this doctrine " The total- ity of the industrial relations constitutes the economic structure of society, the real basis upon which the legal and political superstructure is built, and to which definite forms of social consciousness correspond. The method of producing the material livelihood determines the social, political and intellectual process in general. It is not men's consciousness which determines their life ; it is their social life which determines their con- 136 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY " Ideas do not fall from heaven ; and what is more, like other products of human activity, they are formed in given circumstances, in the precise fullness of time, through the action of definite needs, thanks to the re- peated attempts at their satisfaction, and by the dis- covery of such and such other means of proof which are, as it were, the instruments of their production and elaboration. ... In other words, man develops or produces himself, not as an entity generically provided with certain attributes which repeat themselves or develop themselves, according to a rational rhythm, but he produces and develops himself as at once cause and effect, as author and consequence of certain definite conditions, in which are engendered also definite cur- rents of ideas, of opinions, of beliefs, of imaginations, of expectations, of maxims. ... To recommend morality to men while assuming or ignoring their con- ditions, this was hitherto the object and the class of ar- gument of all the catechists. To recognize that these are given by the social environment, that is what the communists oppose to the Utopia and the hypocrisy of the preachers of morality.'" In the words of Karl Marx himself : " With me . . . the ideal is noth- ing else than the material world reflected by the hu- man mind and translated into forms of thought."^ Beyond question there is a great truth here, more truth perhaps than many idealists are prepared to admit ; but after aU this is not the whole truth. Where then does truth lie? And what shall be the attitude of the social worker to-day ? It would carry us too far from ' Labriola, " Essays on the Materialistic Conception of History," pp 158, 210, 211. '"Capital," Vol. I, p. 25. THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 137 our main purpose to discuss these questions here ; all that we can hope to do is to notice two or three factors entering into the problem and to note their bearing upon the main question. 2. According to the Christian conception of things man is a spirit inhabiting a body and using it as a basis and a means. But spirit and body for the present at least are so intimately related and so vitally interdependent that neither can be viewed by itself alone. As a mat- ter of fact man's spirit unfolds and grows pari jpassu with the growth and development of his body. In a real sense the development and unfolding of the body is the cause and condition of the unfolding and prog- ress of the spirit. Many things show that spirit in- fluences body; but quite as many things show that body influences spirit. This we know that man's mental and moral and spiritual life rises and falls with the rise and faU of his physical condition. Unsuitable and insufficient food affects the mental life ; foul air lowers the tone of the moral life ; men with starved and anemic bodies never manifest a vigorous spiritual condition. The spiritual life to be strong and healthful requires a good physical and economic basis. And this fact the Scriptures fuUy recognize and abundantly il- lustrate. In the Mosaic legislation and in the prophetic teach- ing this truth is conspicuous. The Mosaic legislation, whatever may be its date, is based upon this truth. It is Jehovah's purpose, as declared to the fathers, to bring His people into a goodly land, a land flowing with milk and honey, where they shall eat bread with- out scarceness and live without fear of hunger. There they shall live as Jehovah's people in peace and plenty, 138 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY in gladness and joy.' This truth appears also in the teaching of the prophets. Thus according to Joel the return of material prosperity for the nation is to be fol- lowed by an even more signal blessing, the outpouring of the Spirit upon all the people. The order of events here is significant and must not be overlooked. As a scholarly conamentator observes : " A certain degree of prosperity and even of comfort is an indispensable condition of that universal and lavish exercise of the religious faculties, which Joel pictures under the pour- ing forth of God's Spirit." ^ And as the author quoted shows, the history of prophecy itself furnishes us with proofs of this. " "When did prophecy most flourish in Is- rael ? When had the Spirit of God most freedom in developing the intellectual and moral nature of Israel ? Not when the nation was struggling with the conquest and settlement of the land, not when it was engaged with the embarrassments and privations of the Syrian wars ; but an Amos, a Hosea, an Isaiah came forth at the end of the long and peaceful and prosperous reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah. ... In Haggai and Zechariah, on the other hand, who worked in the hunger-bitten colony of returned exiles, there was no such fullness of the Spirit. Prophecy was then starved by the poverty and meanness of the national life from which it rose." And the same fact, we are told, is seen in the history of Christianity itself. The Master Him- self found His first disciples, not in hungry and ragged communities, but mid the prosperity and opulence of Galilee. The Keformation was preceded by the Ee- ' Exodns iii. 7, 8 ; Dent. viii. 1-10. 'Geo, Adam Smith, "The Book ol the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, p. 424. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 139 naissance, and on the continent of Europe, drew its forces, not from the enslaved and impoverished popula- tions of Italy and Southern Austria, but from the large civic and commercial centres of Germany. An emi- nent historian iu his lectures of " The Economic Inter- pretation of History " has shown that every religious revival in England has happened upon a basis of com- parative prosperity. And he might have added, says Geo. Adam Smith, that the great missionary movement of the nineteenth century is contemporaneous with the enormous advance of our commerce and our empire." On the whole, then, the witness of history is uniform. Poverty and persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword, put a keenness upon the spirit of religion, while luxury rots out its very fibres ; but a stable basis of prosperity is indispensable to every social and relig- ious reform, and God's Spirit finds fullest course ia com- munities of a certain degree of civilization and of free- dom from sordidness."* According to the prophet the physical needs of the people are to be abundantly satis- fied before they receive a special spiritual blessing.' The same truth finds clear expression in the life and teaching of the Master Himself. Every student of the Gospels knows that Jesus spent a large part of His time ministering to the material needs of the people, and in fact He formerly announced that He had come to preach deliverance to captives, the recov- ering of sight to the blind, and to proclaim the accept- able year of the Lord. In the Model Prayer the order of the petitions is most significant. When men '"The Book of the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, pp. 425, 426. 'IMd., p. 426. 'Hnghes, " Easential Christianity, " p. 150. 140 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY pray they are to acknowledge God as their heavenly Father ; and they are to pray that His name may be hallowed, His kingdom may come and His will be done, on earth as in heaven. Then implied in all this, involved in the Father's kingdom and growing out of the Father's will, we find petitions for our daily human needs. The petition for daily bread pre- cedes the petition for the forgiveness of sins and de- liverance from evil. The order of things in the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel is the same. The pro- vision for man's physical needs is the condition of his spiritual health. First, material prosperity, then second the pentecostal blessing; daily bread and the forgiveness of sins and escape from temptation. The frank and fuU recognition of this fact will do much to clear away the misconceptions that have gathered around Christianity ; and it will do much to guide social workers in their efforts for social progress. 3. The spiritual life demands a satisfactory eco- nomic basis. Because this fact has been ignored; because Christian men in the name of a false spiritu- ality have been indifferent to the physical needs of mankind, many people have little patience with the Christian churches and accuse them of blindness and uselessness. Hugh Price Hughes speaks none too strongly when he says that " There is an irritatiag tendency on the part of some excellent, well-fed, well-housed and well-clothed persons, who have never been reaUy hungry since they were born, to talk about taking the Gospel to the starving and the destitute, while they ostentatiously refuse to trouble themselves in the least about economic and social questions. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 141 These well-fed, weU-housed individuals would assume a very different tone if they had been fasting two days, and if their wives and children were dying of want under their very eyes. The Scriptures every- where rebuke and condemn the selfish and cruel argu- ment that religion has nothing to do with feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. ... In special and individual cases the penteoostal blessing may be obtained while thousands are starving, but it can never be realized on a large and national scale until the voice of complaining ceases in our streets, and every honest and industrious man has a reasonable opportunity of making a comfortable livelihood for his family and himself. Let that never be forgotten." ' There are many who are inclined to make light of man's social and physical condition, and they never grow tired of repeating the commonplace remark that Adam lost his religion in Eden while Daniel gained his crown in Babylon. But such people, it may be noted, are as a rule comfortable and weU-fed folks who know little or nothing of the real pinch of Ufe. And such people it may also be noted are most jealous of their children's condition; they seek out the best residential districts for their homes ; and they toil and save to relieve their children from the pressure of anxiety and want. The duty of all social workers is very plain. They must learn to take thought for the material needs of men and to provide a good economic basis for the spiritual life. It is difficult, as every one knows, to enlist large portions of our population in the things of Christianity. And is not this failure due in part at ' " Essential Christianity," pp. 151-152. 142 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY least to the fact that the basis of their life is so sordid and insecure ? " Lives which are strained and starved, lives which are passed in rank discomfort and under grinding poverty, without the possibility of the independence of the individual or the sacredness of the home cannot be religious except in the most rudimentary sense of the word. For the revival of energetic religion among such lives we must wait for a better distribution, not of wealth, but of the bare means of comfort, leisure and security. . . . The economic problem, therefore, has also its place in the warfare for the kingdom of God." ' In this connection we may note the provisions of the Mosiao legislation with reference to the economic basis of man's life. According to the Mosaic law the land and its resources belonged to the people and not to a few individuals ; and so positive provisions are made for a fair and equitable division of the land. In that legislation the family is made the unit, and a certain portion is set apart for it. Provision is made whereby every family shall have its fair share of the common inheritance, and the greatest care is taken that no family shall be permanently handicapped and disinherited. Every family has a just claim for an equitable portion of the national heritage ; and it is made the duty of the nation to make a place for this family and to guarantee to it a fair inheritance. The legislator recognizes the fact that man's ultimate dependence is upon the soil, and so he seeks to keep the people as near to it as possible and to prevent their permanent dispossession from it. By means of the jubilee provision he sought to ensure to the people •Smith, "The Book ol the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, p, 426, 427. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 14b of every generation a fresh access to the land and to prevent the permanent alienation of the ancestral estate." It is quite possible that this legislation is not to be taken in its literal terms to-day ; but none the less there are principles here which are a part of the Christian revelation and are forever binding upon men. The earth and its resources belong to the people ; no man and no set of men has the right to monopolize these resources and to hold them against the people. Every child bom into the world has some meaning in the total meaning and some value in the total value ; hence a place must be made for it at the table and it must be guaranteed its portion. To-day we recognize this prin- ciple in the most meagre way ; for we send the pauper to the asylum or the almshouse. The time has surely come for Christian people to recognize these principles, to teach them to all men, that a national conscience may be made and that a Christian social order may be created. The time has come for the people calling themselves Christians and beUeving that the Bible is a divine book and contains the divine will for human society, to study its principles, to accept them in all their bearings and then seek to make them regnant in the social order. II. The Peovistow fok All of the Conditions OF A Full and Human Life 1. It has become very plain to the modern student that physical conditions determine many things in man's moral and spiritual Mf e. The criminologist has 'Leviticus xxv. 1-55; Kellogg, "The Book of LevitioM," Chap- ter XXVI; Mtinger, " The Freedom of Faith," Chapter VIL 144 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY shown conclusively that the average criminal is physic- ally defective at some point; he has grown up in morally depraving conditions, or he has suffered from defective nutrition, or his physical condition is below normal.' The scientist has shown that many forms of mental and moral backwardness have physical causes ; many school children rated as deficient are found to be physically ill-nourished ; some are suffering from physical defects of one kind and another; laziness is sometimes moral, but in millions of cases it is caused by a parasitic growth ; many forms of mental and moral aberration are due in large measure to vitiated air and defective nutrition. The sociologist has shown no less conclusively that environment is one of the determin- ing and potent factors in man's life ; according to the "teachings of sociology human nature is a pretty con- stant quality, and in itself and of itself it possesses no such differences as are found among men.' This means, on the one side, that the factor of environment is largely if not chiefly responsible for the marked mental and moral differences in men, as weU as the obvious and ominous number of dependent and defective mem- bers of society. This means, on the other side, that if this factor of environment were fuUy understood and consciously directed, it might be possible to eliminate from society these worse phenomena and to uplift the average of the race. It is possible to overemphasize this factor and to minimize individual initiative; but the simple fact is no one can live his best life in bad conditions; no growing life can attain unto its full spiritual stature in ' Ferri, " Criminal Sociology," Chapter II. « Ward, " Applied Sociology, " pp. 234, 313. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 145 an immoral or a non-moral environment. The ques- tions of fresh air, sufficient food, pure water, sanitary- conditions, social atmosphere, and clean literature are much more than secular questions concerning the social worker but of no concern to the spiritual worker. With conditions as they are millions of men are really disbarred from the heights of life. By giving them better conditions we may increase their chances of ascent tenfold. Some narrow individualists and so- called spiritual workers wiU persist in misunderstand- ing aU this ; they will scorn those who are seeking the betterment of social conditions, and will flout them as solemn triflers. But the wise workers for the kingdom who have some conception of the factors that enter into the making of a life cannot pause in their work tiU every other worker has learned to take a f uU-rounded view of man. One of the essential items in the program of the kingdom is therefore the creating of favourable conditions for the development of good qualities in life. As Max Nordeau has said : " Marry Hercules with Juno, and Apollo with Yenus, and put them in slums. Their children wiU be stunted in growth, rickety, and consumptive. On the other hand, take the miserable slum dwellers out of their noxious surroundings, house, feed, clothe them, give them plenty of Mght, air, and leisure, and their grandchildren, perhaps already their children, wiU reproduce the type of the fine, tall Saxons and Danes of whom we are the offspring." ' As the farmer has shown, what we caU cultivation is simply selective action whereby repressive and hindering in- fluences are removed, and the whole potency of air, sunlight, soil and rain are made available for the grow- ^ American Journal of Sociology, Sept., 1905, p. 286. 146 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY ing plant. The creation of better social conditions, that is conditions which both nourish and nurture the mental and moral life, is a necessary step in the Chris- tian program. 2. This question of environment accentuates the social duty of Christian workers and points the way in social action. Environment is an all-potent factor in the life of the individual and determines a hundred things for every man. So far as the individual is con- cerned there is something almost fatalistic in the power and sweep of this factor ; a man can no more escape the influence of his environment than he can escape the puU of gravitation or the need for food. But sup- pose that society can control the environment and can determine every one of its elements ? Suppose that society may make an environment either good or bad, and may thus determine the direction and the rate of human progress ? In these latter days the study of sociology has shown the influence and potency of this factor in man's Ufe, and the ablest sociologists do not hesitate to say that nurture is more potent than nature in man's life. Now and then there may be a man pos- sessed of strong will who " Bursts his birth's invidious bar, And grasps the skirts of happier fate." Here and there an outstanding life may seem to be more or less independent of its surroundings and con- ditions, and to make a career for himself. But even in these exceptional cases it will appear that environment was all potent somewhere along the line and determined many more things than the man supposed. And this THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 14? game study which shows the influence of environment upon the life is also showing men no less clearly how they may control this factor and may enlist it ia be- half of human development and social progress. Thus far this factor has wrought in a more or less uncon- scious and indeliberate way so far as man is concerned ; but now men are beginning in. a conscious and telio way to use this factor and to determine its angle of incidence. According to Professor Huxley social prog- ress means a checking of the natural and unconscious process and the substitutior^'for it of a conscious and teUc process. " I see no limit to the extent to which intelligence and will, guide^^S^y sound principles of investigation, and orgamzed^^ common effort, may modify the conditions of existence, for a period longer than that now covered by history. And much may be done to change the nature of man himself." ' 3. In view of this the people who would seek the kingdom of God and build on earth a Christian society have a very definite duty to fulflU. They must put forth a collective effort to provide for every soul the full con- ditions of a human, worthy, moral and spiritual life. They must fund their wisdom and faith and use them collectively in changing conditions that are hurtful and hindering, and in providing conditions that shall be helpful and uplifting. They must declare that no soul shall be allowed to grow up in evil and defiling surround- ings, and they must guarantee to every child the physical basis of a mental and moral life. They must hold their resources of faith and wisdom and love in pledge for all, and must provide that the help shall be greatest where the need is sorest. » " Evolution and Ethics," p. 85. 148 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY In fulfillment of this aim there are many things that Christian men can do and must do. They will seek to remove aU conditions that make for human weakness, and to provide those that make for human strength. They wiU wage an unceasing warfare against all con- ditions that make it easy for childhood to lose its bloom of innocence and hard for it to grow up tall and pure. They will put forth a steady effort to build a wall of protection around girlhood and boyhood, and to shield children from stunting toil and needless hardship. They wiU exercise the sovereignty of the state in re- moving the handicaps Pnd hindrances that are upon men and they will sh'^ti oiheir wisdom and their faith in keeping the door of wtportunity open before every soul in their community. If conditions are unsanitary in the city they will organize a Board of Health and will endeavour to make them sanitary. If there are unfit tenements that poison life and breed disease they will condemn them and order the very ground to be disinfected. If they find that children have no play- grounds they will tear down factories and provide playgrounds, and will consider the money well spent. If they find that any set of men are making merchandise of girlhood they will order the magistrate to hurl his thunderbolt and end this diabolism. If they find that children are growing up in vicious ways they will establish Juvenile Courts and probation officers and will thus save the young from a criminal life. If they find that children are forced into mines and factories to labour, they will enact legislation forbidding such labour and wiU seek to create better economic conditions. If they find that great estates are increasing from generation to the disadvantage and the disinheritance THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 149 of the many, they will invoke the authority of the state to end this abuse. If they find that the natural resources of the earth are falling into a few hands, so that a few own all the land while the many are aliens in the land of their birth, they wUl ask the state to vindicate the principle of eminent domain and to change this order of things. If there is social deterioration at any point owing to uncertain emplojrment, low wages and excessive toil, they will consider the causes of these things, and wUl seek to find a remedy. If there is a large class without true inheritance in life they will seek through social action to renew the opportunities and redistribute the advantages, " so that every child shaU come from the cradle to a fresh world with fresh incentives, not to one overworn and used up for him by the errors of past generations." ' That a single human soul made for knowledge and power should live neglected and die ignorant, they will caU a tragedy whether it happen twenty times in a minute or only once in a generation. That every child bom into the world should have a good fair chance for life and a fair inheritance in society, they wiU assert as a fundamental principle, and by united action they wUl seek to establish in their social system. In fine, the men who are seeking the kingdom of God on earth wiU not be satisfied that there shall be any outcast and unprivileged souls doomed from birth to poverty and sin, and disbarred by conditions beyond their control from the best things in life ; and what is more they will not rest till they have created such conditions in society as shaU make possible for every ' Basoom, " Sociology," p. 252. 150 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY one of its members a full worthy, human and moral life." It is perhaps needless to say that social reconstruction is no substitute for personal regeneration. It is obvious that no Golden Society can be built out of men with leaden instincts. That feeding men's bodies may not mean their spiritual renewal we aU know; that the creation of better social conditions may not be the equivalent of the kingdom of God we all confess. But it cannot be too strongly asserted, none the less, that social reconstruction may do much to mould the lives of men for the kingdom of God. It ought to be accepted as a social axiom that men are more likely to grow up strong and clean and moral and good in clean and helpful conditions than in foul and immoral sur- roundings. Good social conditions make for a good life, as bad social conditions make for a bad life. An im- moral environment usually means an immoral life, while a good environment surely promotes a good life. The fact is every element and factor in man's environment has some influence upon character, either for good or for ill, and hence it has a moral and spiritual signifi- cance. The men who see only the surface of things, the men who think they are spiritual and make light of social reform, have scant patience vrith all such efforts and declare that the social worker is dealing only with material things. But the men who see into the heart of reality, the men who view aU objective things in the light of their human and spiritual significance, know that everything that concerns man has a divine and spiritual value. They know that the work of creating ■ For a fuller disonsslon of these qaestions the reader is referred to the writer's other book, " The Christian State," Chapters XIII, XIV. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 151 fit conditions for human lives greatly facilitates the work of personal salvation and character building. They know that by taking up stumbling-blocks out of the way of the people we can make it easier for men to do right. They know that the work of making straight paths for men's feet is one way of helping and healing them. They know, in fine, that by providing for all the conditions of a fuU, worthy, human, moral life they can greatly accelerate the redemption of man and the coming of the kingdom. III. The Conscioits an^d Collective Efpoet to Save Society Implied in what has been said, growing out of it and applying its suggestions, are some items that are all important. The salvation of the world, the making of the kingdom implies much more than the making of good individuals. The fact is, as we shall see, the salvation of the individual and the making of good men imply and demand social conditions and social action, as well as individual effort and initiative. And the fact is that society needs saving as much as the in- dividual, and in the long run the power of Christianity in saving the individual wiU be measured by its power in saving society. We must therefore inspire and arouse men to undertake consciously and collectively the work of social salvation. 1. In this work of social salvation there are several things, some negative and some positive, that must be taken into account in any large and comprehensive program. For one thing, negatively, the work of social redemption cannot be done by individual work with individuals. This work is vital and necessary and 152 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY it must never be mininiized ; but at best it is but a part of the whole and a means to an end. By all means let every social worker bid a hearty Godspeed to the soul winner who is seeking out single individuals and is loving them into the kingdom. Would that all of God's people had what is called a " hunger for souls " and did some of this blessed work. And yet soul winners alone can never ensure the redemption of society and bring in the kingdom of God. Again, this work cannot be done by gospel evangelism alone. This also is a most vital and necessary part of the gospel program, a part that must never be neglected. In fact the neglect of a wise and sane and continuous evangelism on the part of the Church is one of the serious aspects of the whole situation to-day. But after all this item, vital and necessary as it is, is yet not the whole of the Christian program and by itself alone it can never fulfill the purpose of Christ or ensure the salvation of society. That this is so is made very plain in the Scriptures themselves. The Master when sending out the twelve and the seventy charged them to heal the sick and cast out demons as well as preach the Good News of the kingdom. The apostle, also, in speaking of the gift of workers to the Church gives an honourable place to the evangelist, but other workers are named : Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers ; gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues.' By all means let the Church com- mission men to this work of evangelism and by all means expect a succession of such workers. But be it remembered that by such means and methods alone the redemption of the world can never be assured. > Eph. iv. 11 ; 1 Cor. xu. 28. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 153 Nor can this work be done by the work of rescue and reformation. No men and women are entitled to more honour than the workers who are going down into the slums of our cities seeking for the lost and trying to win them back to goodness and to God. But after aU this work, however vital and blessed, is not suflBcient and can never ensure the coming of the kingdom. For one thing in the work of reformation we begin too late to make sure of the largest success. Even granting that the soul may be won and saved through the grace of God and the patience of some worker, yet the life is lost and this is an irreparable loss. Not only so, but in adult life when habits are formed good or bad, life has its bent and it is tenfold more difficult to win and reform the life. As a matter of fact we might place a rescue mission at every street corner in the city ; yet if we stop here and do nothing to form and shape the hfe our efforts will fall far short of the largest success. Preformation is just as Chris- tian as reformation and it is just as necessary. One former is worth ten reformers. In a more positive way there are several things that must enter into a working program of social salvation. For one thing men must know what are the factors that enter into the making of a Ufe and must col- lectively and continuously enlist all these in the work of social progress. They must demand that every child shall be well born and shall thus have a good, fair start in Ufe. They must create around the grow- ing life a good social atmosphere that shall colour the thought and induce a right course of conduct. They must seek to shape and form the life for the kingdom and its righteousness. They must provide 154 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY for every person the necessary physical basis of a full and human life. They must keep the door of oppor- tunity open before the life and must train the person to meet and improve the opportunity. This work of social action is no less necessary and vital than the work of soul winning and evangelism. By all means preach to the person the gospel of self- help and self-amendment; for it is a needed and necessary gospel. There wUl always be need of teachers like Socrates who can say : " For I do nothing but go about persuading you aU young and old alike, not to take thought for your persons and your property, but to care first and chiefly for the greater improvement of the soul." There will always be need of evangelists to summon men to repent and declare : " The soul of aU improvement is the improve- ment of the soul." But none the less there must be men who shall emphasize the duty of social service and civic betterment and shall seek to create better social customs and political institutions. As a matter of fact the im- provement of the soul is possible in and through the improvement of the life. In the last analysis the improvement of the soul is both a result and a cause. The improvement of the soul that begins and ends with the soul is really no improvement at all. The im- proved soul must mean an improved environment. The improved environment makes possible the im- proved soul. And after all, the deeper we go into life the more evident it becomes that what we call soul im- provement is the utilization of opportunity and the response to environment. 2. That the present method of individualistic effort is not sufficient and that it contains no promise of the THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 155 speedy coming of the kingdom is implied in an earlier chapter. The practice of charity, nursing the sick, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners, keeping aUve the defective and dependent can never permanently im- prove the race and bring in the kingdom ; nay worse ; it has become very plain that some of these efforts in- crease the very thing they are designed to help, and it has become very certain that much of this effort is so misapplied that it means the deterioration of society and the degeneracy of the race. Sickness and poverty, crime and misery we have learned have social causes, as well as individual, and so they can never be eliminated wholly by individualistic action. And we have seen also that individual work for individuals has not pro- duced the largest results and so gives little promise of ever bringing in the kingdom. The fact is that by the method of individual effort alone, that is by dealing with results and neglecting causes, by considering one factor in hfe and ignoring all the others we can never achieve the redemption of man and can never build a Christian social order. It is very beautiful and Chris- tian to buUd churches and conduct rescue missions ; but while we are neglecting causes and are saving one poor outcast a dozen other girls are led astray through igno- rance on their part or through neglect on the part of society and are sold into white slavery. It is very Christian to nurse the sick and to equip a sanitarium for the consumptive ; but what have we gained if while doing this work we have neglected home conditions and have permitted unsanitary tenements, thus allowing a dozen other lives to contract the white plague and to doom themselves to suffering and death ? It is very Christian and very necessary to send missionaries to 166 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY China and Africa, but while our Christian missionaries are making one convert for the kingdom the agents of the opium traffic are ensnaring a dozen men and are riveting the chains of the worst slavery upon their souls. It is very necessary that we seek to save lost men and women in the slums ; but while we are saving one lost man a dozen children are growing up in demorahzing conditions, exposed to all kinds of evil suggestions and forming habits which become a part of life itself. It is very right that we should preach the gospel of love and should work for individual souls ; but unless we do something more than this and seek to make straight paths for children's feet and to mould their Hves for the kingdom, a dozen lives will be warped and stained and their recovery thus made a hundredfold more difficult. The first of these things men ought to do ; but the second of these things they must not leave un- done. In the matter of city saving great things have been done in the generations past and much progress has been made. But the fact is the methods thus far fol- lowed have not saved our cities and have not produced a Christian civilization. To-day in so-called Christian lands it is an open question whether the ^eat cities are improving either morally or religiously ; nay there are thoughtful men who declare that these cities are slowly degenerating and that the churches are steadily losing ground. At this rate, by our present methods, the kingdom wiU not come in any measurable time ; in fact the coming of the kingdom is so remote that it can hardly be considered as a human contingency. What shall we do then ? ShaU we give up the salvation of these cities and be satisfied to save a few souls out of THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 157 the wreck of a perishing world ? Shall we adopt the views of some premillenarians and say that the only thing we can do until the Lord returns is to preach the Gospel for a witness and give over the old world to its doom? "We cannot do this without disloyalty to Christ ; we cannot give up these cities without confessing failure. But this we will do, and this we must do : We will re- vise our methods and enlarge our plans, and wUl follow the whole program of the kingdom. We will seek to understand aU the factors that enter into the making of a life, heredity, environment, personal will and divine grace, and we will then enlist them in the work of social salvation. We have tried to make saints in hell. We have expected men to live saintly lives in hellish con- ditions. We have forgotten that environment deter- mines many things in life both before and after con- version. We have forgotten that the saved life de- mands a safe environment. We have tried to save souls for the kingdom hereafter when we are called to save lives for the kingdom here. We have forgotten that Christ came to save the whole man, spirit, mind and body, for this world and for every world. The times of this ignorance God may wink at ; but now He commands us to work in a wiser and more fruitful way. And so we wiU give increased attention to the life of the family, and will learn how to use the mighty factor of heredity in behalf of race development. We wiU change human conditions and wiU demand a bet- ter environment for little children, thus making it pos- sible for every life to grow up taU and strong and clean and pure. We will seek to provide for our neighbour's children the same conditions that we ask for our own 158 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY children. We wiR remember that no man's girl is safe till every man's girl is safe. We will remember that there will be no pure air for any one of us to breathe till there is pure air for the least of God's children. We wiU create a new type of city life, and will seek to build from the ground up a city planned on Christian lines and buUt after the divine pattern. We will pro- vide playgrounds for the children and will remove many of the temptations that beset them at every turn. We wiU safeguard the growing life and wiU not allow it to become the prey of human harpies. We will break up the girl traps and will close the comer grog- gery. We wiU set ourselves " seriously to inquire whether it is necessary that there shall be any so- called lower classes at all ; that is, whether there need be large numbers of people doomed from birth to hard work in order to provide for others the requisites of a refined and cultured life ; while they themselves are prevented by their poverty and toil from having any share in that life." ' Too long we have neglected the work of nurture and training of the young, the conscious moulding of lives for the kingdom of God. Too long we have depended upon evangelism to convert the adult sinner and undo the results of years of neglect. To- day we must resolutely set about the work of training and shaping lives for the kingdom. To-day we must recognize the fact that man is a social being and that social causes enter into the making of his life. This means that we must surround the young with helpful, moral, spiritual, nourishing influences. This means that we must save the life in all its powers, relations, realms and tenses. By spending our time curing results we ' Marshall, " Principles of Economios," Book I, Chapter I. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 169 can never bring in the kingdom of God within any- measurable time. By giving our attention to causes and moulding lives from the start we may accelerate the work of redemption by leaps and bounds. 3. The salvation of society is a social task and it demands social action. Individual work for individuals is vital and necessary, but alone it can never ensure the salvation of society and the making of the kingdom. The gathering of converts and the building of churches is Christian and necessary, but this alone can never en- sure the redemption of man and the progress of the race. The kingdom of God is a collective ideal and it demands collective action. Not always has this been understood, not always have the programs of men been the program of the kingdom. And the results of this misconception and failure are seen everywhere in Chris- tendom. In the cities of the Christian world — to limit the question somewhat — there are many Christian men and strong Christian churches ; but thus far there has been no Christian cause in the city and for the city. There may be scores, perhaps hundreds of churches in a city, each working away at its little task, sometimes fighting a dogged and yet losing battle, and each in its own way and place seeking the salvation of men and praying for the coming of God's kingdom. But thus far there has been Httfe unity of effort in a large way, no marshalling of the king's soldiers into one army with a definite and comprehensive plan of cam- paign, no utilization of all possible resources in behalf of one common end. In fact many good men have not yet conceived the need of any such plan of campaign, and so they are content to fight petty skirmishes with no decisive results when they ought to be in one army 160 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY winning battles for the kingdom. The work before us is so vast and so comprehensive that it will require the services and resources of all to ensure its achievement. Something may be done, something is being done, by the present individualistic and competitive methods ; the largest results will never be secured till there is a union of all who love and serve in behalf of all who sin and suffer. 4. This work can only be done by the most system- atic effort on our part. By the present competitive and haphazard methods of to-day we can never save the cities of the world in any calculable time. A friend of mine declared that he could determine the best residence sections of any American city by simply looking at a map and noting the location of the churches ; the churches are most numerous where the people are richest and fewest. To-day every church has a roll of members, but few churches have any definite parish. The consequences are that their own people are cared for while the great mass of the people outside the churches are neglected. Between the membership lists of the churches lie the great un- churched masses, unreached at present and unreachable by present methods. Another consequence is that no church has a definite parish whose condition and need it is expected to know and for which it is directly and plainly responsible. In view of this there is one thing for the churches to do and that is to form a federation of the churches, a kind of Church of Christ for the city, and assign to each church its special district or parish over which it shall exercise a Christian watch-care and for whose social uplift it shall directly labour. This, by the way. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 161 is the meaning of the great vision of the prophet of the exile. In the New Jerusalem, says the prophet, the watchmen cry; they lift up the voice, together do they sing ; for they shaU see eye to eye when Jehovah returneth in Zion.' In common speech this seeing "eye to eye" has come to signify reconciliation and agreement ; but while this is a part of the meaning this is only a small part of it. In the thought of the prophet it signifies rather division of labour and co- operation in work. According to the prophet there are many watchmen in the city, and they aU work together in perfect harmony. Each man has his dis- trict and he keeps to it. Each man knows his duty and is faithful to his share of the task. Then watch- man cooperates with watchman and brother helps brother. The watchman's song is taken up by his neighbour and carried from street to street. So close are the watchmen and so alert are they that aU to- gether in unison they break forth into singing. And so close are they and so alert that each watchman can look into his fellows' eyes as they meet at the end of their beat. The city is divided into watchmen's districts and each man knows his district and patrols it. Through all the night beat touches beat and watchman meets watchman ; eye looks into eye ; every foot of the street is under the oversight of some man of God. Every gate of the city is guarded ; every corner is ob- served ; there are no un watched streets where an enemy can hide ; there are no souls and no homes that are unwatched and unprotected. By unity of effort, by cooperation in work the resources of aU are brought to bear upon the need of each. By system in work, by ' laaiab Iviii. 8. 162 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY collective action, the whole city is blessed and the work of God is done. The vision of the prophet is the ideal of Christianity and the way of duty. There are some principles of social action — social axioms they may be caUed — which are worthy of care- ful consideration : The state that is under obligation to punish and restrain the criminal is under obligation to remove the causes which make the criminal. The state that punishes immorality must teach mo- rality. The method of prevention is a great deal cheaper than the method of reformation, and it is also more Christian. The Christian who confesses his obligation to deal with results must confess an equal obligation to deal with causes. The larger the number of intelligent and devoted people in a city the more obligation is upon them to make their city all that a city might be. The things we ask for our children are simply the measure and type of the things we are to ask for aU men's children. Social problems can be solved only by social action. One former is worth ten reformers. The help should be greatest where the need is sorest. If heaven is a city the best preparation for heaven is the practice of citizenship. Their institutions and laws are a people's interpreta- tions of the Golden Eule and the articles of their essential faith. "We may best sum up this aspect of our work by bringing the parable of the Good Samaritan down to THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 163 date. In the parable the Master is illustrating the meaning and the duty of neighbourliness ; and forever the parable stands as the perfect interpretation of this principle. But in applying the parable and bringing it down to date we may note men's changing conceptions of their duty in social service. The Good Samaritan has rescued the half dead man from the Jericho road ; he has taken him to the inn and has cared for him. And now what shaU he do further ? Yesterday men said : Let him build a hospital in Jericho to care for hurt and dying travellers ; let him equip it with gentle and loving nurses who wiU fan the flame of life and bring the sick man back to life. And for eighteen hundred years men in the name of Christ have built hospitals where in love and tenderness they have cared for the unfortunate and have nursed them back to health. What is the Good Samaritan doing to-day ? He is going up to Jerusalem and is calling on the police to clean out that nest of robbers and to make that road safe. And now as in the past he is creating courts and building prisons to restrain and punish the highway robbers. But what will the Good Samar- itan do to-morrow ? He will accept the dictum that things have causes, and that like causes produce like effects. He will discover also that there is no such thing as "criminal nature," but that what men call criminal nature is simply good stuff badly handled. He will realize that every society has the number and kind of criminals it makes, and that society stands in the docket beside every delinquent there. And then he will call a conference of his friends and discuss with them some of the sad facts and ask what society can do to create better influences around children and to save 164: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY them from ever becoming highway robbers. " Come, my brothers," he will say, " let us break up the boy traps in our community ; let us create a good atmos- phere around every growing life, and let us see that every child in the land grows up honest and pure and clean and good." If our purpose is to save the life for the kingdom and its righteousness this is the wise and Christian course for the Good Samaritan. If pre- formation is easier and cheaper that reformation the duty of all social workers is very plain. With every ounce of weight we wish to emphasize this principle and to make it the determining principle in aU our plans and programs. The acceptance of this principle wiU work a com- plete revolution in many of our plans and methods to- day. To save life we must begin at the beginning of life itself. To save life we must have a social program and a social conscience. To allow the life to be mis- handled and warped at its beginning is to defeat the very purpose of Christ for the life. To neglect the incipient life and hope to save the soul at a later stage is as unchristian as it is unwise. In fine, to ensure the salvation of the life we must go behind the individual and must seek to create a Christian social order ; that is, we must seriously and collectively undertake the work of social salvation, by Christianizing and trans- forming the whole family, social, political, economic and industrial Mfe of man. ly. The Ceeation of a Good Atmospheeb In an earlier section we have considered the factor called environment, and have seen that it plays a determining part in the making of life. The term THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 165 environment is an inclusive word and covers all the objective factors in man's life. But as generally used it signifies primarily the material and physical elements in the world and their influence upon man. "We need some other term which shall connote the more subtle and psychic elements in the environment, and which though less intangible are no less real. What we caU atmosphere counts for much in the making of life and the determination of conduct, and the time has come for Christian workers to recognize this factor and in a conscious and collective way enlist it in the work of social salvation. In fact a large part of our work, as we shaU see, consists in creating a social atmosphere which shaU induce the right kind of Uf e. 1. There are many elements entering into this factor called atmosphere, some physical, some mental, some moral and religious, and aU are important. Where aU are vital it is unwise for us to try to es- tablish an order of precedence and to emphasize some more than others. Physical conditions and political institutions, the economic order and the home sur- roundings determine many things in every life; and current opinions and social sentiments, the ideas and ideals of one's time and place, aU these enter into the atmosphere and all influence human life. We are learning some things to-day — thanks to the social psychologist — that must be taken into account in all our thought of man and his progress. First, man is one and his life is a unit. Sometimes men have not so thought, and so they have broken life up into parts and fragments, calling these parts body, mind and spirit. Sometimes they have arranged these parts in water-tight compartments considering each as inde- 166 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY pendent and dealing with it by itself. To-day no one who thinks at all can think in such terms and under such forms. Man is a unit. Life is all one piece. In the most real sense the whole man enters into any transaction. No man can be helped and saved by the piecemeal method. Browning has stated this truth in striking words : Let us not always say, " Spite of the flesh to-day I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole" As the bird wings and sings, Let us cry : "All good things Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more now, than flesh helps soul." — Babbi Ben Ezra. There is a spirit in man, we all believe, but this spirit dwells in a tabernacle of flesh and blood. This spirit makes man akin to God ; but this spirit for the present has a physical basis. Since this is so the relation be- tween spirit and body is so intimate and vital that it is impossible to set them in antithesis and to consider each by itself. The spirit has a certain measure of freedom and independence and can guide and control the body ; but the body no less coniines and limits the spirit and determines both its motives and its choices. 2. Every item and element in man's environment af- fects and influences life in some way and at some level. Changes in the weather affect man's physical and spir- itual condition. Lyman Beecher used to say that of course he believed in the perseverance of the saints — ex- cept when the wind was from the east. Careful investi- gations show that there is a larger proportion of crimes THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION X67 of violence when the weather is hot and depressing. Food and air have much to do with man's mental and moral life. Some of the pessimistic and jaundiced doctrines of the Church may be due to a disordered liver. Experiments in reformatories show that the worst incorrigibles have been subdued and changed when they were taught to bathe and exercise properly and were fed nourishing and proper food. Many a man who shows traits of moral deficiency and errancy is suffering quite as severely from mal-nutrition and starved lungs as from moral perversity and vicious dis- position. Between man and his environment there is the most constant and active relation and reaction. In the last analysis, therefore, because of its influence upon man's whole hfe, body, mind and spirit, everything at bottom has a human and spiritual significance. "Everything which befalls man in the course of life and every day bears upon us in some way, in the char- acter of a spiritual discipline, a trial of our temper and disposition; thus everything develops in us feeUngs that are either right or wrong." ' The work we have to do, our companions, the air we breathe, the wind that blows, the smiles or the frowns on the faces of the people we meet, aU infect our spirits and deter- mine our feelings. The life of man, like the dyer's hand, is subdued to the colour of the material in which he works. " Whate'er we see, Whate'er we feel, by agency direct Or indirect, shall tend to feed and nurse Our faculties, shall fix in calmer seats Of moral strength, and raise to loftier heights Of love divine, our intellectual soul." 'Dewey, "Works," p. 57. 168 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 3. The atmosphere colours the thoughts and de- termines the life of every human being. " The atmos- phere of the home into which the infant comes, ' the psychological climate' of the first years, the habits, traditions, manners, contagious ideas of the family group — aU these things begin to form the conscience which shall always bear its nurture marks." ' "Whitman is both the poet and the psychologist as he sings of the " Child Who Went Forth Every Day." " There was a child went forth every day ; And the first object he look'd upon that object he became ; And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years. His own parents, He that had father' d him, and she that had con- ceived him in her womb and birth' d him, They gave this child more of themselves than that; They gave him afterward every day — they be- came part of him. The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper table ; The mother with mild words — clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odour falling off her person and clothes as she walks by ; The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger' d, unjust ; The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure. The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture — the yearning, and swelling heart, ' Jones, " SocialLaw in the Spiritnal World," p. 123. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 169 Affection that will not be gainsay' d — the sense of what is real — the thought if after all, it should prove unreal, The doubts of daytime and the doubts of night- time — the curious whether and how, "Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks 1 ***** These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will go forth every day." In a very real sense man is what his surroundings have made him to be. The ancestry of the two men shows that there is the same blood flowing in the veins of Edward VII of England and "William the Emperor of Germany. Yet the one might sit for the portrait of a typical Englishman, whUe the other might sit for the por- trait of the typical German. Suppose Abraham Lincoln had been born and bred in Mississippi and Jefferson Davis had been born and bred in sight of Faneuil HaU in Massachusetts. In that case American history would no doubt have been very differently written. "We have learned to-day that what we call human nature is not something existing separately in the individual, but it is rather a group nature or primary phase of society. " It is the nature which is developed and expressed in those simple, face-to-face groups that are somewhat alike in all societies ; groups of the family, the play- ground and the neighbourhood. ... In these everywhere, human nature comes into existence. Man does not have it at birth ; he cannot have it except through fellowship and it decays in isolation." ' Can the plant grow without air and light and sunshine ? ■ Cooley, "Social Organization," p. 30. 170 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY No more can man become an intelligent, moral and spiritual being without an intellectual, moral and spiritual atmosphere. " No man," says Emerson, " can be heroic in an unheroic world." " This," says Pro- fessor Small, "is an overstatement of an underrated truth. No man can be his best in a world unapprecia- tive of that best. No group can be at its best in a world not correspondingly at its best." ' In his time John Stuart Mill found that the improvement in the intellectual and moral condition of mankind must go forward very slowly. "But the hindrance is not in the essential constitution of human nature." It is to be found ia the fact that interest in the common good is at present so weak a motive in the generality of men, " not because it can never be otherwise but because the mind is accustomed to dwell on it as it dwells from morning till night on the things which tend only to personal advantage." ^ Men are selfish because society expects them to be such. "Pick out any trait you want in your child, granted that he is a normal child . . . be it honesty, fairness, purity, lovableness, in- dustry, thrift, what not. By surrounding this child with sunshine from the sky and your own heart, by giving the closest communion with nature, by feeding this child well-balanced, nutritious food, by giving it all that is implied in healthful environmental influences, and by doing it all in love, you can thus cultivate in the child and fix there for all life aU of these traits." ' 4. The recent studies in the subconscious life have emphasized and accentuated this vital item in our pro- gram and method of social salvation. Prof. Wm. ' " General Sociology," p. 577. ' " Autobiography," p. 233. ^Bnrbank, " The Coltivation of the Humau Plant," p. 48. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 171 Jamea has reminded us that the theory of the sub- conscious mind is the most important contribution of psychology to the world in the last fifty years. Much of the data of this theory is yet unclassified and some of its conclusions are yet tentative; but some things are very clear and significant. The world around us is aU the time affecting man and through all the avenues of sense it is making its presence known. Some of the objects in the world we see and are aware of ; but it is very evident that our eyes see many more things than our minds take account of at the time. The field of consciousness at any moment is very wide ; but only a small area in the centre of the field is directly perceived. Changing the figure, in every one of us there is a larger life than we know and larger than any manifestation of itself ; but all the time materials from this subconscious world are rising above the threshold of consciousness and coming into full view. " Our clear consciousness is always a selection from an enormously wider stream of subconscious or undifferentiated material for thought." ' It is quite possible that aU of the elements and factors of man's environment are all the time making their appeal to him, becoming a part of his life whether conscious or subconscious, and all determining the contents and the current of his con- scious life. The mind of man is far more sensitive than the most highly sensitized photographic plate and noth- ing in the environment escapes its sight. Though only a very small fraction of the things seen at the time are directly perceived by the conscious self, yet they are all a part of the life and all affect it in some way. " Many if not most of those characteristics, which used to be > Jones, " Social Law in the Spiritual World," p. 109. 172 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY attributed to heredity, are products of the subconscious experiences of early childhood. Actions, manners, traits, habits of parents are subconsciously imitated and the little life sets itself by forces which are never con- sciously analyzed." ' In fine, everything that enters into the environment, the things seen and heard at the time and the things not seen and heard, the physical conditions and the most intangible sentiments, the pic- tures we did not notice as we passed, the faintest whispers, the suggestions of good and the suggestions of evil, — these all are elements and factors in the atmos- phere, and these all aif ect the hf e in some way. There is a whole world of interest and value to be explored here, but enough is known of this factor called atmos- phere to indicate the work of the social worker. And now we begin to see the relation of this factor to the work of social salvation. A large part of our work for man, perhaps the largest and most potent part — consists in creating such cm atmosphere as shaM induce the right Tcind of life. Would we have men and women spontaneously and habitually think good thoughts, cherish the right ideals, and choose the right ways ? Then we must have the boys and girls grow up in an atmosphere that is pure and good. Would we have men and women accept the Christian life as a matter of course and find in the kingdom their normal home ? Then we must surround them with a Christian atmos- phere from the very cradle and must have them breathe in the very air of the kingdom. Thus far we have given very little attention to this important part of our work ; thus far we have not been careful to eliminate from the environment of the growing life the things • Jones, " Social Law in the Spiritual World, " p. 121, THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 173 that may suggest disorder and impurity. Thus far we have not seriously set ourselves the task of filling the atmosphere of the unfolding life with things that shall suggest holy thoughts, unselfish conduct, and heroic living. Here is a work for the home, the church, the school, the city, the state. No greater service can be rendered by the parents in the home than the creation of an atmosphere which shaU give a moral and relig- ious colour to the life. No greater task can be fulfilled by the state than the task of creating such an atmos- phere as shall make it easy for the people to do right and shall develop the life in purity and goodness. " Let me make the songs of a people," is an old saying, " and I care not who makes the laws." Let the Church create a pure and good atmosphere in society, and all the other things of salvation will take care of them- selves. V. The Mobilizing of the Men oe Good Will Last of all and as the summing up of all, there are several things that we must do in order to fulfill our social task. 1. To this end, to fulfiU this task, we must keep alive in men the hope of the kingdom of God and must hearten them to seek that kingdom and its righteous- ness. At first glance this seems commonplace enough, and one may be accused of using trite phrases, but this item signifies much more than lies on the surface. To- day many men accept the idea of the kingdom of God in a matter-of-fact way with little conception of its tremendous meaning ; the second petition of the Lord's Prayer trips over the thoughtless tongue without awakening in men any suspicion of its social signifi- 174 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY cance. But to the first disciples the confession of faith in the kingdom of God was a very significant thing ; to them the petition of the Lord's Prayer was both an article of faith and a dedication of life. The man who believed in the kingdom of God confessed that there is another order than the present evil one, even a divine and righteous order ; he looked beyond the old political systems of his day and saw that there is a great and divine system ; he looked beyond the little kinglets of earth, such as Herod and Nero, and saw another King, one Jesus, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Not only so, but the man who be- lieved in the kingdom of God, by that very fact voiced a protest against the evils of the world as he found it ; he looked out upon the world and saw that things were changing and were bound to change ; he read the signs of the times and he declared that the old order was doomed and must soon pass away. " The Christians came into the world as rebels against the prevailing religions and customs. They waged war against its faith and fashions, against long standing habits and tolerance of evil." ' In course of time, however, this conception of the kingdom of God faded from the minds of men and less and lower ideas took its place. And as a consequence they lost out of their faith and life this spirit of protest against the order that exists and this hope of a society that is to be. We need to get back into the faith and life of to-day some of this early faith and spirit. We need to realize that the world as we find it is not the world as God wants it ; and we need to arouse men to seek the whole kingdom of God. In his time Thomas Arnold saw ' Wernle, " Beginnings of Christianity," Vol. II, p. 348. THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 175 this very clearly, and again and again he voices his conviction. He believed in the kingdom of God and he was not willing to postpone even in thought the fulfillment of his desires to a remote millennium or Utopia, such as in the minds of many men acts rather as a reason for acquiescing in the existing order of the world than as a motive for rising above it. His heart was stirred within him as he saw the enormous mass of evil which lay undisturbed because so few dared to acknowledge the identity of the cause of reform with the cause of Christianity.' In a letter to Mr. J. C. Coleridge he writes : " There is nothiag so revolution- ary, because there is nothing so unnatural and so con- vulsive to society, as the strain to keep things fixed, when all the world is by the very law of its creation in eternal progress ; and the causes of all the evils of the world may be traced to that natural but deadly error of human indolence and corruption, that our business is to preserve and not to improve. It is the ruin of us all alike, individuals, schools and nations."^ In his place also Frederic Denison Maurice protested against the easy-going contentment with the world as it is. In a letter to Charles Kingsley he urges him to write " a country parson's letter about the right and wrong use of the Bible — I mean protesting against the notion of turning it into a book for keeping the poor in order." ' And a later writer speaks in no less vigorous protest : " God forbid we should allow our personal gratitude to degenerate into a complacent acceptance of things as they are. Can I be satisfied with being up while my brother is down? A curse on optimism if it means ' Stanley, "Life," Vol. I, pp. 207, 208. ' Letter XIX. » Maurice, "Life," Vol. I, p. 463. 176 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY content with a system which keeps any mortal of us out of his sunshine. A Christian soul is bound by its very contract to agitate till every human being has room enough for his proper expansion, opportunity for taking his fill of Ufe." ' One great part of the churches' work is to keep ahve in men the vision of the coming social order and to hearten men to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Contentment with the world as it is may be treason against the kingdom of God. 2. To accomplish this, there should be in every community a group of people who are studying the life of their community at first hand and are seeking to know the will of God for their city. For many cen- turies men have cherished certain writings as sacred Scriptures and have studied them as the Word of God. This is most right and proper, and one can only wish that men might study these Scriptures more persistently and obey them more resolutely. But we need to re- member that the God who spoke is the God who speaks ; we need to remember that the Bible is not alone a record of what God did but it is a sample of what God does. That man has not read his Bible to any advantage who finds in it nothing more than a record of what God has said and done. He only under- stands his Bible who finds in its history and teaching illustrations of God's will and samples of the things He is forever doing. We need to remember also that the Scriptures are given us not to witness for a past and absent God but for a present and working God. And we need to remember, further, that the Scriptures deal with human lives and human relations, and that these Brierley, " Onr City of God," p. 198, THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 17Y are the sacred terms and means in the divine revelation. That man has not perceived the real meaning of the Scriptures who supposes that human life and social relations in some distant age or far-away place were more sacred than such lives and relations in his own age and place. As a matter of fact he only has learned the true use of the Scriptures who finds in them the key to human life in his place and day. The truth is human life and human relations are sacred things, whether in Jerusalem or in London, in Nazareth or in New York. We study the social and political con- ditions of Israel in Solomon's time or in Christ's day that we may know the sins of men and may read the will of God ; but no less should we study the social and political conditions in our city and state that we may know our sins and may do the will of God intelligently. We study the conditions in which Jesus lived and grew that we may understand His life and thought ; but no less should we study the conditions in which our children live and grow that we may know how to help them fulfiU their lives and grow as children of God. In brief, we must study human lives and social conditions to-day in the light of the Scriptures that we may see our way clearly and may know the will of God for our community. That is, there should be a group of men studying the Ufe of their community that they may know what are the things that help human lives and what are the things that hinder such lives. They should know some- thing about conditions in the alleys and back streets of their town ; they should know whether any children are surrounded with evU and deiiling influences which practically make a decent life impossible ; they should 178 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY know what kinds of social suggestions are being made upon the growing and receptive souls of the young ; they should know something about the industrial conditions and political life of their city ; and we dare not say they are either intelligent or good citizens of the king- dom unless they know some of these things. " Down in that back street," says Buskin, "BUI and Nancy, knocking each other's 'teeth oiit.' Does the Bishop know all about it ? Has he his eye upon them ? Has he had his eye upon them ? Can he circumstantially explain to us how Bill got into the habit of beating Nancy about the head ? If he cannot, he is no bishop, though he had a mitre as high as Salisbury steeple ; he is no bishop." ' When we know the things that most vitally concern the lives of the people we will then be in a position to act intelligently and fruitfully. But this knowledge of social conditions is for the sake of action and should always lead to action. And so this group wiU seek to translate every bit of social knowledge into social service. These people who have studied the Scriptures and know the wiU of God, and have studied their community and know its needs, will therefore seek to remove bad causes and abolish bad conditions in their community, and to create good conditions and set in operation good causes. They will go forth to take up stumbling-blocks out of their neighbours' way; they will wage an unceasing warfare against every bad cus- tom and institution ; they will cast out of their city the things that defile, that work abomination and that make a lie ; they will also make straight paths for men's feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way but that it may rather be healed; they will consciously ' "Sesame and LilieH," "Of King's Treasnriea." THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 179 and intelligently set about the creation of better senti- ments and customs ; they will seek to create a sweeter and more helpful social atmosphere, and to surround every life with more nourishing and moral influences. And all this they will regard as the fulfillment of their faith and the expression of their love and the use of their knowledge. 3. "We must inspire men to live and labour in the vi- sion and power of the whole kingdom of God. We have been busy trying to get our own souls saved and to prepare them for life in some other world. We have been labouring earnestly and faithfully to save men from sin and to turn them unto righteousness. We have organized churches and have toiled and prayed to make them strong and Christian. We have wept over the lost nations of earth and have given our children and our money that the Good News might be carried to every creature. We have built hospitals and have or- ganized relief societies. We have opposed many social evils and have sought to end the reign of injustice and wrong and oppression. All this is most beautiful and most Christian, we cheerfully admit, and not one of these things could we have left undone. But not one of these things alone, in fact not all of them combined, can ever f ulfiU the whole purpose of Christ and bring in the kingdom. Now we must go beyond aU of these things and have some comprehensive and Christian program of social action and social salvation. We must seriously and consciously undertake this work of building Christian cities and of transforming the social life of the world. To-day we need some great inspir- ing ideal which shall command the allegiance of all men of good wiU ; we need some large and positive 180 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY program wMch shall mobilize men into one army and send them forth to do battle with the ills of life. One thing is certain, we never shall see Christianity arise and flourish in all its divine power and beauty till men be- gin to seek the whole kingdom of God. "We never shall take hold of Christianity in its largeness and power till we enter into its fundamental and central idea and consciously and collectively seek to build a human society according to the divine pattern. 4. To fulfill this task we must carry the standard of the Cross at the head of the whole column of life and must bring the whole truth of Christ to bear upon the problems of society. We must honour His principles in the social and industrial life of the world and must in- carnate these principles in civic and social institutions. "We must fill society with the spirit of justice and brotherhood which shall produce such forms of co- operation and equity as shaU secure the prevalence of friendship and good will among men. "We must carry the Christian ideal of a Holy City into the political fife of the world and must seek to enact such laws as shall be the human transcript of the Adamant Tables. "We must set our faces like flint against aU social customs and practices that are evil and hindering, and must seek to create better and more helpful customs. "We must understand the real mission of the state and must en- list the mighty machinery of government in behalf of morality and progress. It is not enough for Christian- ity to make good individuals, but it must also teach these men how to associate themselves in righteous and brotherly relations. It is not enough for men to be honest and conscientious in their personal lives, but they must begin to incarnate their honesty and con- THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 181 scientiousness in industrial systems and civil laws. It is not enough for Christian people to preach the Gospel and seek the salvation of souls, but they must begin to labour for the salvation of society and must seek the whole kingdom of God. It is not enough for men to build churches and conduct Sunday-schools and dis- tribute tracts, but they must also take up stumbling- blocks out of the way of the people, teach them how to make more Christian homes, and inspire them to arise and build a more Christian city. It is not enough for us to have goodness and kindness and brotherhness in the hearts of men, but we must incarnate these virtues in social customs, in political institutions, in industrial orders and economic systems. Society needs saving as much as the individual ; the purpose of Christ wiU not be realized till we have the perfect man in the perfect society. " Christianity," said Immanuel Fichte, " is destined some day to be the inner organizing power of the state " ; and it is the business of all who believe in Christianity to organize the state after the spirit of Christianity. " There is in human affairs an order which is best," says DeLaveleye. " This order is not always the one which now prevails, but it is the order which should prevail. God knows it and wills it. Man's duty it is to discover and realize it." 5. To fulfill this task we must also arouse and en- list all men of good will in the work of social recon- struction. We need to secure a union of all who love and serve in behalf of all who sin and suffer. The grace of love is the greatest grace and the virtue of co- operation is the supremest virtue. However it may have been in the past, the great duty of aU men of good will to-day is the duty of union and cooperation 182 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY in behalf of the kingdom and its righteousness. The people of the churches must accept this duty first of all, and they must unify and federate their forces ; they must mobilize their members and must think of each denomination as a division of the one great army. They must come together and must make the King's purpose for the world their plan of campaign. They must then seek to unite the men of good will in every community in behalf of certain definite and practical measures. There are many brave and earnest men in aU communities, men who love their fellows and have a passion for righteousness; and yet many of these men have scant patience with the churches and do not confess faith in Jesus Christ. These men believe in honesty and justice, and they are ready to enlist in be- half of good practical measures. The churches owe these men a duty and it is this : The churches must furnish a rallying centre for aU right-thinking men ia the community ; they must seek to enlist these men in behalf of social righteousness and political progress. There are enough intelligent and right-thinking men in the average community to transform it from top to bottom. But alas, they are divided to-day by aU kinds of lines real and imaginary; and worst of all the churches themselves are not united and so they cannot unify the people. One part of the churches' mission is to set up a standard and then rally these men around that stand- ard. The churches must breed a generation of men able enough and courageous enough to deal with the evils of society and to lead the social faith of the people. The churches of to-day need a large and con- structive and comprehensive plan of campaign, and THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 183 then they need to mobilize the forces of righteousness in behalf of progress and victory. We may not be able to do everything that needs to be done, but we can do something. We may not be able to bring in the kingdom in our generation, but we can work definitely towards that end. There is a marked dif- ference between the better and the worse. There is a vast amount of remediable wrong in the world. There is many a path that may be straightened for men's feet. Any effort that will help any soul in any way is the translation into deed of some article of the Christian faith.' BIBLIOGRAPHY Batten : " The Christian State." Ward, and others : " Social Ministry." Kelley : " Twentieth Century Socialism." Ward, L. F. : "Applied Sociology." Sidis : " The Psychology of Suggestion." DuBois : "The Natural Way." Patten : " The New Basis of Civilization." ' See Appendix (or Social Service Program. VI THE CEISIS AND THE OPPOETUNITY IN these times there are many students of human affau"s who declare that Christianity is passing through the great crisis of its long history. "Western civilization," says my friend Prof. Walter Kausohenbusch, " is passing through a social revolution unparalleled in history for scope and power." ' " We are to-day — without most of us being aware of it — in the midst of perhaps the greatest revolution the ages have seen. The social order which has served us and our fathers for uncounted centuries is dissolving before our eyes. And religion, in the forms we have known it, is sharing in the dissolution." ' " The Church is to-day facing the most serious crisis in its history ; and if this crisis is not successfully passed, a calamity will befall the human race of the most momentous character. It is not a crisis that pertains primarily to any particular form of creed, ritual or organization. It involves the existence of the Church itself ; and bound up with the Church are the spiritual interests of mankind, so vast, so precious, so essential." ' The signs of the times in- dicate that stormy years are ahead of us, and the Church is about to witness an attack upon the funda- mental Christian positions to which previous history furnishes no parallel. "That conflict will effect • " Christianity and the Social Crisis," Chapter XI. 'Brierley, " Sidelights on Eeligion," p. 270. ' Crooker, " The Church of To-day," p. 66. 184 THK CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 185 enormous changes, not so much in the faith itself, as in the forms it will take, and the reasons in men's minds for holding it." ' On aU sides we find many men doubting in their hearts whether Christianity is not played out and must soon become extinct. Many are debating whether the decline of all religions has not come, and with it the end of men's immortal hopes. Some time ago the Chretien Frcmgais gave an account of a remarkable meeting held in the Trocadero, in Paris. It was a wet Sunday evening when the churches were empty be- cause of the storm. And yet the vast hall of the Trocadero with a seating capacity of five thousand was packed to the doors with an enthusiastic and applaud- ing audience. The occasion was an atheistic demon- stration in which the speakers poured scorn on " the dead god on whom the priests live," while saluting justice, the moral ideal and the new social order. In all the nations of Europe, the lands where Christianity has been longest known and most dominant, we wit- ness the general revolt of the people from the churches. In addition to this in all lands to-day a great movement is going on among the people that has many of the characteristics of a religious movement ; indeed mil- lions of men declare that it is their religion, and that it is a good substitute for Christianity. Socialism is the creed of milUons of men to-day ; and yet Socialism, many of its leaders affirm, is the avowed enemy of the churches. In these times, as every one knows, there is a wide- spread uncertainty concerning the foundations of the Christian faith and the credibility of the Christian ' Brierley, " The Common Life," p. 55. 186 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY Scriptures. Not a few radical speakers and writers bluntly declare that the Bible is a discredited book and must no longer be regarded as authoritative and divine. Its historic accuracy is questioned ; its inspiration is flatly denied ; the authorship of many of its books is in doubt ; and the human origin of its writings is positively affirmed. On the part of many of the people, the rank and file of the churches, there is a grave sus- picion that some flaws have been found in the founda- tions of the faith, flaws it is said which the preachers are vainly trying to conceal, but flaws which are be- coming patent to all. And many are saying — both within and without the churches — that the Church as it now exists is an outgrown institution and is out of a job ; in fact some declare that there is little reason why it should any longer be called Christian. Some years ago Professor Bruce said : " I am even disposed to think that a great and steadily increasing portion of the moral worth of society lies outside the Church, separated from it not by godlessness, but by exception- ally moral earnestness." In America and England at this time many earnest and devoted churchmen confess that they see but little future for their church. And all this it may be said is not so much a question con- cerning any book in the Bible as concerning the very validity of the Book itself. It is not so much doubt concerning any special doctrines of Christianity as concerning the very value of Christianity itself. We are living in a new age with new ways of thought and with new problems to meet. Can Chris- tianity solve these problems and meet these needs? Can it produce adequate results in this twentieth century and silence all these questionings? Do the THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 187 Scriptures bring a living and potent message to the men of to-day and can they authenticate themselves in the consciousness of the modern world? Can the churches bearing the name of Christ repeat and con- tinue the works of Christ and thus demonstrate their right to be called Christian ? This fact may be noted for it is vital: The evidences which revealed the power of Christianity in one age and proved its divine origin are not sufficient to demonstrate its diviae origin and to satisfy the thought of to-day. First century results were sufficient for first century evidences; twentieth century results must constitute twentieth century evidences. The fact that Christianity once was a power in the world is interesting as a matter of history, but this means little to us of this latter age. Oh, that God would do something in our time, cried Carlyle ; oh, that He would show that He is alive to- day. Belief in God must be more than a matter of historic records, a tradition of past achievements, a memory of departed glory. The world to-day wants a Living God, one who is in the world now and is doing great things to-day. And this demand is fair and just ; for according to the Master the test of fruits is the final test. By their fruits we are to know the true from the false, whether in Uves, churches, Bibles and religions. And the truth of religion must be found in itself and not in other things ; for the Master everywhere assumes that the truth of God is its own sufficient and surpassing evidence, and the divine word carries within itself the proofs of its divine origin. If we are to have a twentieth century faith we must have twentieth century credentials. The great need of to-day is some clear and con- 188 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY vincing proof that Christianity is of God. The great need in this hour is some new evidence that the Gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of society. The great need of men is some new enthu- siasm in life which shall set their hearts aflame with hope and shall set their feet marching towards the mount of vision. "We have considered in the earher chapters the problems of to-day and have been brought face to face with the new task before the Christian dis- cipleship. We have considered in the later chapters some of the things that are implied in this task and some of the methods that must be employed. The new task to which the believers in Christianity are fairly committed is the solution of the social problem and the building of a better and more Christian tjrpe of human society. In the fulfillment of this task the Christian discipleship will furnish the new cre- dentials that are needed to satisfy the inquiries of men ; they will show the real and essential nature of Chris- tianity ; they will waken in men a new enthusiasm in life and service, and they wiU achieve great results for the kingdom of God on earth. "We cannot discuss these things in detail, but we must note a few items that are implied in this undertaking. I. The New Credentials of Chkistianity The questioning of to-day is not so much questioning concerning this or that book of Scripture, this or that form of church organization, or this or that doctrine of Christianity, as questioning concerning the value of the Scriptures, the necessity of the Church and the very existence of Christianity. The credentials that are of- THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 189 fered must meet all of these questions and cover all of these objections. 1. The Scriptures must prove their value by their power to help men w^here they most need help. "With reference to the vpritings in the canon we may note that the uncertainty in the minds of men to-day grows out of the fact that these writings do not authenticate themselves in the consciousness of men as once they did. However it may have been in the past these writ- ings have lost a certain validity and value to the modern man ; and the reason for this is not far to seek : As these writings have been read and taught they have not met man at the point of his deepest need, and so they have not brought with themselves the evidence that they proceeded from the Spirit of God. To the mind and heart of the early Church certain writings authenticated themselves and spoke with an authority from which there was no appeal. For these writings spoke home to the consciousness of the early disciple- ship and met man at the point of his deepest need. These writings were found profitable for doctrine, for instruction, for correction, for guidance, and men knew that there was in them a divine life and power. And so they called them sacred writings and accepted them as a revelation of God's will. This, as Coleridge long ago pointed out, is the final and suflicient test of the Scriptures. " Whatever finds me, bears witness for it- self that it has proceeded from the Holy Spirit." Again: "The truth revealed through Christ has its evidence in itself, and the proof of its divine authority in its fitness to our nature and needs." ' > Coleridge, " Letters on the Inspiration of the Scriptures, " Letters I and IV. 190 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY How can we meet the questions that have arisen in our time concerniag these books, their inspiration, their canonicity, their value? The old arguments for the Scriptures have little meaning to the men of to-day ; for we have come to see that no mere logical argu- ments, no external media, no extra-spiritual criteria can be adduced to verify and authenticate a direct, inward, spiritual revelation. " Eevelation is light. It does not need that which is apart from itself to throw an illu- mination upon it. It has the self-evidencing nature of light." ' As a matter of fact the authority and divinity of the Scriptures must be found in their power to pro- duce direct and divine results. The various writings in the canon authenticated themselves in the consciousness of the early Church because they spoke home to the heart and conscience of men and met their needs and solved their problems. This was the final and sufficient evidence that they were of God, and no other evidence was needed ; in fact no other evidence was possible. The world to-day has its own problems and needs, and these are most real and pressing. And what is more, the world wants light upon these problems and some help in its need. In the Christian Scriptures — Chris- tians believe— we have the very truth of God, the mes- sage that can help and save men, the light that can iUumine the dark way, the principles that can solve the difficulties of society. In view of this the duty of the men who believe in the Scriptures is very plain: They must make the message very definite ; they must let the truth shine out ; they must teach men how to apply these principles; they must bring the truth to bear upon men's problems and needs, and they must con- 1 Mnlford, " The Eepublio of God," p, 85. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 191 sider these problems and needs in the light of the Scriptures and their teaching. By their neglect of the Scriptures, by their unwillingness to apply Christian principles to social life, Christian men are making it hard for men to believe in the Scriptures or even to have an interest in them. But by opening the Scrip- tures to men, by applying their principles and making Jesus Christ and His truth a fact in the universal life of the world. Christians can solve the problems of men and can make the world believe that the Scriptures are of God. In their power to meet man at the point of his deepest need to-day these writings will prove their divine origin ; in their power to dissolve men's doubts these writings will authenticate themselves ; in their success in showing men the direction of true progress will these writings canonize themselves with more than their old authority and thereby prove that they are in- deed the "Word of the Lord. 2. The churches must offer their fruits in evidence of their Uf e. The time is coming and is even now here when men will demand a different set of credentials from a Christian Church in proof of its right to call it- self Christian. The time has been when churches claiming to be Christian pointed to their apostolic suc- cession, to their historical continuity, to their creeds and doctrines, to their imitation of the New Testament or- dinances, and to their reproduction of the early form of church organization; and in these they found the credentials of their authority and the justification of their claims. These things are all worthy of careful consideration and they must never be slighted or minimized. But these are not the credentials the world demands to-day, 192 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY nor are they the evidences that can satisfy men. The test of fruits is the final and sufficient test, and as the churches meet this test will they prove their right to be called Christian. The only credentials that can con- vince men to-day that a church is apostolic is found in the possession of the apostolic spirit and the repetition of the apostolic works. In so far then as the churches can poi&t to men that are changed and women with the demons gone out of them sitting clothed and in their right mind at the feet of Jesus ; in so far as they can show homes that are Christian and cities that are redeemed from slums and red light districts abolished ; in so far as they can show the streets full of boys and girls playing in the broad places thereof ; in so far as they can take up stumbling-blocks out of the way of the people and can deliver men from temptation ; in so far as they can enable every life to grow up in virtue and purity, will they succeed in proving that they are churches of the Lord Jesus Christ and that the Gospel they preach is the power of God unto salvation. The time has gone by when the churches can employ force to put down any unwelcome doctrines or dangerous questions. "When society permitted men to think it made obsolete such things as Cossacks and inquisitions and thumbscrews. No error is safe where men are seeking the truth. !N"othing but truth can satisfy the heart of man. The world will ask questions concerning the Church and the Gospel, and the world has the right to do so. The world will ask the churches to show their fruits in evidence, and the Master declares that this is a fair test. The time is here when truth must come out into the open and must either be able to meet all honest tests or it must retire in confusion THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 193 from the field. According to the Master the test of fruits is the final test for men and for churches, and the people who bear the name of Christian ought to be the first people in the world to meet this test. 3. The test of fruits is the final test for Christianity itself. This test of fruits, this answer in results is the final test of Christianity. This test of life, this answer in results is a very severe but it is an entirely fair test. The test of power and efficiency, the ability to bring something to pass, the power to renew lives and trans- form society, this is the test which must silence all doubters and convince all gainsayers. The struggle of the world religions is upon us, and the law of the survival of the fittest applies here as elsewhere. It is simple folly for Christians to complain of this law and try to keep the Gospel out of comparison with the other so-called Gospels of the world. It is especially vain and short-sighted after the test which the Master has Himself proposed. Thus Christianity has its fortunes to make or to lose in the wider fields of man's social life. The problems of to-day are social problems, and the special task of to-day is a social task. The race is coming to self-consciousness and men are begin- ning to feel the evils of the world as they never felt them before. A hundred new questions are up for a hearing, and upon the answer to these questions wiU be the future of the race. Thus the power of the Gospel to-day must be proved in its ability to solve these social questions and to show man the way of true progress ; the power of the Gospel must be proved in its ability to transform our cities and to create a finer and higher type of human society. To say that Chris- 194 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHEISTIANITY tianity can save the soul and can show it the way to heaven is not enough ; to say that Christianity creates a finer type of character and a higher form of society than any other religion is not enough to make good its claim as the final and universal religion. To silence all objections, to vindicate its claim, it must now prove its ability to solve the questions of man's social life and to create the highest possible type of human society. The time is coming and it is even now here when the value of Christianity will be proved not alone in its ability to make good individuals who seek to prepare themselves for heaven, not alone in its ability to make converts and build them up into churches, not alone in its ability to inspire mission societies and to create Christian orphanages ; but its power is to be shown in its ability to develop men and women into good citizens of the kingdom with a citizen's intelligence and con- science ; in its ability to associate men of good wiU into just and fraternal economic and industrial relations; in its ability to abolish poverty and to drain social slums and city quagmires ; in its ability to transform cities of destruction into the city of God and to build up in the earth a Christian social order. This means that the only Christianity that can main- tain itself in this modern world is the Christianity that can offer its fruits in evidence. This means that our modern Christianity, if it would command the allegiance of men, must be real and must deal with real problems. It must prove its courage by probing the wounds of society to the bottom and it must prove its ability to cure the ills of society. The only Chris- tianity that can win its way in these times is a Chris- tianity that can meet the needs of men and can bring THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 195 the very power of God to aid them in their work. The only Christianity that can win its way in this modern world — in fact the only Christianity that is worthy of serious consideration — is a Christianity that can show men a truer and larger ideal, that can inspire men to love and follow that ideal, that can mobilize them as an army and can send them forth to do battle with the ills of life, and can impel them to arise and build the finest and most worthy type of human society. This is the thing that Christianity must do to carry off the prize from the great debate of the world's religions. This is the thing that Christianity must do if it would have any bright future in this modern world. The modern world awaits such a religion and it will know it when it comes. If Christianity can do this, if it can create the finest and highest type of human society ; if it can redeem our cities and can transform them into cities of God, it will demonstrate its divine origin and will com- mand the future. If it cannot do this ; if it cannot sweeten our social life and purify our political rela- tions ; if it cannot build better and diviner cities after the heavenly pattern ; if it cannot do this or if it will not do this, it will discount every one of its claims and will be a vanishing power in the days to come. The very honour of Christ, the very existence of Christianity is at stake in the fulfillment of this social task. There are great and critical problems before the world to-day that lay some great and urgent tasks upon the mind and conscience of the modern man. By its ability to solve these problems the Christianity of to-morrow is to be tested ; by its ability to lead in the fulfillment of these tasks the Church is going to be rated in the days to come. The whole question how men 196 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY shall live together and share in the common heritage, how every life shall have a fair inheritance in society and shall be brought into the family cii'cle and given his place in life, is up for a rehearing ; and this ques- tion will not be settled till it is settled in equity and love. And what is more this question will more and more engage the thought of men within the Church, and no institution however venerable or great that cannot teach men how to meet and to solve this question will receive a patient hearing at the hands of men. And the whole work of social reconstruction is the task now laid before us in the providences of God and the exigency of progress. The work of building up in the earth a Christian society is the work to which the Christian discipleship is fairly and squarely com- mitted. "We cannot excuse ourselves any longer for failing to give ourselves to this work by saying that all the efforts of men in these directions have been failures. Granted that the men who have tried to build Utopias by their own wisdom and strength and out of the poor material of earthy and sinful men have failed ; then there is all the more reason why the men who have the vision of the Holy City coming down out of heaven should set about the work of building that city out of the stones of renewed lives. In the most real sense the validity and value of Christianity are at stake in this work of social redemp- tion. In these times the doctrines of Socialism have arisen to trouble those who are at ease in Zion, fatally at ease, many of them. It is needless here to consider these doctrines in detail ; but Socialism is a movement to be reckoned with in the days to come. It is need- less here to appraise Socialism, and to point out its de- THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 197 fects or to emphasize its merits. This may be said, however, that some of the most conservative students of social life admit that there are great wrongs in our modern social life and that the presence of these wrongs gives Socialism its vitality. And it may be said also that many conservative students concede that the socialistic indictment of modern social conditions is fuUy justified in every one of its counts. We may grant that the program of Socialism is a meagre and materialistic program and that it ignores the best parts of man's being. We may grant further that in the doctrines of Socialism there is no power of God and no spiritual dynamic that can move the world and can charm away the selfishness of men. But if this is true there is all the more reason why the Christian disciples with their program of the king- dom should set to work hopefully about this task of social renewal. There is a double urgency upon those who know the power of God and believe in the might of the Spirit to prove the power of the Gospel in social redemption. The doctrines of Socialism are spreading like wild-fire to-day, and Socialism to millions of men has become a new religion. We may denounce Social- ism ; we may expose its fallacies and may warn men against it ; we may show that it is secretly hostile or openly opposed to the churches and is even working at cross purposes with Christianity in many things ; but all these eiforts will avail nothing ; nay, Socialism will rather spread because of this opposition and the churches will only array the mass of the people more solidly against them. Unless the churches can show a faith and love that are more potent and practical than Social- ism ; unless they can prove that they are more inter- 198 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY ested in the whole life of man than the socialistic propaganda ; unless those who profess and call them- selves Christians can sacrifice for their faith far beyond the socialistic leaders, the doctrines of Socialism will spread, the people will turn away from the churches and Christianity will wane and languish. The only religion that can answer Socialism is a religion that goes far beyond Socialism in its interest in man, in its passion for righteousness, in its zeal for the kingdom. Such a religion as this wiU stop the mouths of gain- sayers, convince the heart of the world, demonstrate that it is of God and become the power of God unto the salvation of society. 4. From another point of view the validity and value of Christianity are at stake in this work of social salvation. In these latter days we are witnessing one of the greatest movements of aU the ages. The corners of the earth are connected ; nation touches nation ; the world has become one neighbourhood. The old forms of national exclusiveness are gone; the religion and customs of one people are coming into contact with those of aU other peoples; this contact means com- parison, and comparison brings competition. To-day the world is witnessing the most momentous movement of all the ages : It is the break-up of the ethnic relig- ions and the search of men for a new religion. The debate of the world-religions is on, and Christianity cannot keep out of the controversy. How shall the nations judge of these religions ? What is to be the single and final test ? They will judge these religions by their results. The test of fruits will determine the award. How win Christianity stand this test ? Suppose the THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 199 peoples of the Orient, looking for a religion, should judge of Christianity by the cities of Christendom? Suppose they should measure the power and value of Christianity by the moral and social conditions of London and Paris, Hamburg and New York, Chicago and San Francisco? Suppose further that the thou- sands of men coming from the East to trade and live in these cities should be repelled by the conditions they see and should judge of Christianity by these cities ? Are the men from Japan and China, India and Africa who live in London and Paris, New York and San Francisco, likely to become Christians and then go back to commend Christianity to their people? One trembles as he considers these things ; in the light of these questions one cannot suppress some ominous fore- bodings. The cities of Christendom are the heaviest handicap that modern Christianity has to bear. The people of India and Japan read the papers and maga- zines published in the Occident ; and they know what the East End of London means and they are familiar with the doings of Tammany Hall. " Are these cities the fruits of Christianity? If Christianity cannot make better cities at home, why should we consider it in India and Japan ? " Already the missionary has to meet these questions ; again and again the reproach is flung in his face. In view of this we may say that the most urgent work before the Christian discipleship is the work of cleansing and saving these cities. In view of this we see that the men who are fighting the beasts of graft and corruption in these cities are giving telling blows for the cause of world-wide missions. The men who are casting out of these cities the demons of drink and impurity are among the best helpers in 200 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY the work of world-wide evangelism. In the most real sense the value and power and success of Christianity abroad depend upon the cleansing and betterment and salvation of these cities at home. II. The Keal Natuee of Cheistianitt 1. For nineteen hundred years Jesus Christ has had a people in the world ; and in this time the Gospel has been preached in aU lands and millions have learned to bow in His name. Great creeds have been formu- lated and great theological treatises have been written. And yet the sad fact remains that the rank and file of the people the world over have not understood the life and thought of the one whom they call Master. Nay worse, many of the leaders of the churches have sadly misunderstood the Master and have misplaced the em- phasis of His teaching. Many people have supposed that religion has to do with heaven and the way to it ; at any rate it is concerned with vague, far-away, in- definite and spiritual things. Many have believed that religion is the special concern of special men ; at any rate it is the peculiar province of an institution called the Church. Many others have imagined that religion at best is a mystical and mysterious thing, good enough in its way and place, but after all as something im- practicable and unworkable in this real matter-of-fact world. Perhaps the most dismal fact of history is the failure of the great organized bodies of ecclesiasticism to understand the simple genius of Christ's religion. Whatever the best in the churches of the time may have thought of the life and religion of Christ, taken as a whole, they have succeeded in leaving upon the mind of a large portion of the world an impression of THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 201 Christianity which is the direct opposite of the reality. " Down to the present hour, ahnost whole nations in Europe live, and worship and die under the belief that Christ is an ecclesiastical Christ, religion the sum of the churches' observances, and faith an adhesion to the churches' creeds. . . . Everything that the spiritual and temporal authority of man could do has been done — done in ignorance of the true nature of Christianity — to dislodge the religion of Christ from its natural home in the heart of humanity. In many lands the churches have literally stolen Christ from the people ; they have made the Son of Man the Priest of an Order ; they have taken Christianity from the city and imprisoned it behind altar rails ; they have with- drawn it from the national life and doled it out to the few who pay to keep up the unconscious deception." ' This is a severe indictment, but every word of it is abundantly justified by the facts of history. Thus from one cause and another Christianity has been hidden from the people and the great purpose of Christ has been obscured. 2. ""What we especially need at this time," says Professor Sanday, " is freshness, a real getting at the heart of the matter instead of dallying with the out- side." This is true, only too true. Beyond every other need of to-day is reality, a getting at the heart and centre of Christianity instead of dallying with its accidents and accompaniments. The fact is many of the things which have bulked large in the thought of men were of no interest whatever to Jesus of Nazareth. Times and places, forms and ceremonials, doctrinal creeds and church orders — the things upon which men • Drammond, " The City Without a Church," pp. 40, 41. 202 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY have thrown the emphasis for eighteen hundred years — meant little or nothing to Him. "With Him always and everywhere the emphasis falls upon loyal hearts and loving lives, helpful deeds and brotherly service. In His day He had little interest in the Temple and its ceremonials ; He did not observe the forms and tradi- tions of religion ; and what is more He encouraged His disciples to make light of them. He left the scribes and lawyers to their traditions and doctrines and went out after the lost sheep of the Father's flock. He was indifferent to such things as tithing mint and anise and cummin, but he threw the emphasis of His life upon the weightier matters of the law, as justice, mercy and truth. He was wholly indifferent to all questions concerning church officials and institutional religion, but He insisted with the stress of eternity upon social justice and true brotherhood. By a curious inversion of things the people of the churches have reversed this order and have placed first what Jesus set last, and have made last the things which Jesus put first. Three-fourths of the thought and time and effort of Christian people for eighteen centuries have been given to the very things which Jesus regarded but as the dust of the balance. Three- fourths of the things that most vitally concerned Jesus have been ignored by His people where they have not been actually despised. Does any one suppose that Jesus would have any interest in half the controversies of the churches over such questions as church officials, metaphysical creeds, alien baptism, forms of worship, methods of organization ? It is open to doubt whether Jesus would understand what these discussions were all about, even though they professed to be carried on in THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 203 His honour. It is certain that He would turn in sorrow from many of these things and would lament that though He had been so long time with men yet they have not known Him. Ecclesiastioism has hidden the Christ. Institutional religion has mystified men. The things that Jesus died to destroy the churches bearing His name have exalted to the very throne. The things He died to establish the churches have largely ignored. These are hard sayings, but history more than justifies them. 3. The chief interest of Jesus Christ was the king- dom of God. The whole stress of His life falls upon the weightier matters of the law, such as brotherhood and love, justice and mercy. He was interested in little children, and when He stood the child in the midst He showed the real centre of gravity. He pro- nounced His heaviest woes upon the men who placed stumbling-blocks in their fellow's way, and trampled upon the lives of others. He saw how womanhood was turned into merchandise and He did not hesitate to brand such infamy as under the curse of heaven. In the light of His life and teaching can any one doubt what would be the chief interest of Jesus Christ to-day ? He would be interested in little children, and no doubt He would fling in our faces the lost children of our cities who sicken and die in unsanitary tenements, or who wear out their little bodies in hard and bitter toil in our mills and factories. He would come out-of-doors where life is real and He would be found where men are most needy. He would take His place where vampires lie in wait for their human prey, and He would be found most often where women fight desper- ately for virtue. Where injustice is done there He 204 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY would be found, to rebuke and warn. Where child- hood is wronged His whip of small cords would flash and sting. " There can be no doubt, . . . that if Jesus were with us to-day He would side with those who are making great efforts to relieve the hard lot of the poor and procure them better conditions of life." ' " That Christ in our day takes a much more Uvely in- terest in the development of our political circumstances and conditions than in our so-called church movements and current questions, I cannot for a moment doubt. He knows full well on what things really depend, and on what they do not." * The acceptance of this social task by the disciples of Christ will do much to reveal the essential nature of Christianity. It wiU give a tone of reality to our religion, something alas that is sadly lacking to-day. It will prove that religion is a reality and is concerned with real things. It wUl show men that Christianity is practical and is interested in everything that interests men. It will demonstrate that the Gospel has a mes- sage for men where they are. It will prove that Christianity can produce real fruits in this world where men live. It will show that Christianity is here to make a better world and to transfigure the dust of our humanity into the glory of God's kingdom. The best apologetic for Christianity to-day is a clear statement of its essential nature. III. The Newt Enthusiasm foe the Kingdom The acceptance of such a program and the prosecu- tion of such a task will bring new life into the churches ' Harnaok, "What is Christianity? " p. 109. « Eothe, " Stille Stnnden," p. 274. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 205 and will mean a revival of apostolic Christianity. It is easy to quote statistics showing that the membership of the churches is increasing ; and it is possible also to prove that contributions for beneficent causes are larger than ever before. But this does not tell the whole story ; in fact it does not touch the real heart of the question. Are Christian people showing a deep and strong enthusiasm in the work of the kingdom ? Do their hearts beat high with hope and do their feet beat time to the march of God's events ? Are they living and working as men and women might be expected to work who believe that they have found the best thing in the world ? 1. It is said by careful observers that our modern Christianity lacks courage and enthusiasm ; it lacks in- tensity and passion ; and so it lacks vitality and power. Some time ago a man of large experience made a tour of the world visiting the mission stations and studying the results of missionary work. When he came home he passed this criticism upon the work as he had seen it ; and this criticism is all the more significant in that it is friendly. He stated that he had found many con- verts who had come out of darkness into the light, men and women who were living brave and devoted lives and were seeking to advance the kingdom of God. But he stated also that there seemed to be something lacking in the lives of these converts which troubled him. By and by it came home to him that these con- verts were not living as men and women might be ex- pected to live who believe that they have found the best thing in the world. I do not know how it may be with Christian converts in heathen lands ; but I know very well how it is with many of our people at home. 206 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY They are not living and working as men and women might be expected to live and work who believe that they are members of the great kingdom of God and are partners in the divinest enterprise of the ages. In our churches there are many brave and devoted souls who are trying to be true to Christ and want to serve in their day and generation. But alas, many of these peo- ple have accepted things as they are and have settled down into a humdrum existence; their lives lack as- piration and enthusiasm ; they have no great consum- ing passion for righteousness and truth ; they are good enough in a way but their goodness is so ineffective and so commonplace. Everything in the average con- gregation is so regular and so orderly ; but it is also so sapless and jejune ; the churches are full of good men, but their goodness is not militant and aggressive ; it is not an asset in the life of their community and the power of the kingdom. It is evident that our Christianity needs something that shall put meaning into life and vision into the eye ; it needs something that shall stir men's blood and shall make their hearts beat high with hope. "We need some vision that shall set the hearts of men and women aflame with a new and holy enthusiasm ; we need some new crusader's hymn that shall set the feet of men and maidens marching towards to-morrow with a new glad faith. All around us are men and women, intelligent and earnest, capable of enthusiasm and fitted for great tasks ; but thus far they have not been enlisted in the work of the kingdom ; thus far they have not seen any task that warmed their hearts. " It is surely plain enough to everybody," Mark Eutherford writes in one of his books, " that there are thousands of men and women THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 207 within a mile of us, apathetic and obscure, who, if an object worthy of them had been presented to them, would have shown themselves capable of enthusiasm and heroism. "Whole volumes of human energy are thus apparently annihilated." But alas, thus far the churches have not offered these men a man's job ; they have not mobilized these men and women for the king- dom. Some time ago a young woman, earnest and trained, went to her clergyman offering her services to the church. " His only suggestion was that I should be responsible every Sunday for fresh flowers upon the altar." Educated and earnest young men come into our churches, eager for service and anxious to serve in their generation ; and the only suggestion we can make is that they attend the prayer-meetings and take up the collection on Sunday. 2. The first thing is for the churches to inspire men with the vision of the Holy City coming down from heaven to be set up on this earth. In aU times the poets and prophets of the world have sung and dreamed of a better and brighter world. They have sighed for the day when injustice shall cease, when childhood no longer shall be wronged and womanhood shall no longer be treated as merchandise. They have dreamed of the time when good will and peace shall fill the earth, when no labour shall be imrewarded and no life shall be unprivileged, when children shall be happy and parents shall be glad, when gray hairs shall be a crown of glory and not an economic handicap. And in all times the poor old world, thinking itself wise and practical, has laughed at such dreamers and has de- clared these dreams to be idle and impossible. And yet let the wise men mock as they will, we must dare 208 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY to cherish these hopes and follow this vision. " To fill this little island with true friends," writes Euskin in his eloquent and pathetic way — " men brave and wise and happy ! Is it so impossible, think you, after the world's eighteen hundred years of Christianity, and our own thousand years of toil, to fill this little white gleaming crag with happy creatures helpful to each other? . . . Must we remain here also savage, here at enmity with each other, here f oodless, house- less, in rags, in dust, and without hope, as thousands and tens of thousands of us are lying ? " ' To make a better world, we must insist, is the task before us, to make a brighter world for children to be born into, a safer world for boys and girls to grow up in, a happier world for men to travel through, a more joyous world for depaxting saints to look back upon, this is the work that we must resolutely set before ourselves ; this is the task to which we must summon the men of good will in every community. To unite men in behalf of this task, to mobilize them into one army and send them forth to battle for the truth ; this is the work of the churches to-day. " Come, my brothers," the churches must say to men, " come let us join hands and interlock our hearts in behalf of a better and brighter world. Something can be done to make better and cleaner cities. "Will you, my brothers, accept this task and labour together to lay the streets and to build the walls of the new and Holy City ? " One great part of the churches' work is to keep the ideal of the kingdom before men, to hearten them with the hope of a better day, to keep the flame of devotion burning upon the altars of their hearts, to set their feet ' " Crown of Wild Olives ; The Future of England," THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 209 marching towards the future, to enlist them in the divine adventure of making the kingdoms of this world into the kingdom of God, and to marshal them as one host to go forth and fight the battles of the King. In so far as the churches can inspire men with this vision, and can unite them as one army in behalf of this enterprise, that far wiU men be interested in the churches and will believe that Christianity is of God. rV". The New Victobies for the Kiitgdom So far as the kingdom is concerned the acceptance of this task and the fulfillment of this program will mean new and mighty victories for the kingdom in the earth. The Gospel — Christians believe — is the power of God unto salvation, whether it be the salvation of persons or the salvation of society. That message comes to men as a message from the father to his children, telling of his love, convincing them of his interest, assuring them of his presence and guarding them by his power. That Gospel has as its central truth the Cross of Christ which has power to convince men of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment, to win men away from sin, to estab- lish them in righteousness, to lead them into the light, and to charm away their selfishness. That Gospel witnesses of the Holy Spirit who is with men to work in them, and to renew them in knowledge, to give them power for service and to make them spiritual beings. The Son of Man has come and has spoken the words of life ; the Cross has been erected and the Spirit has been given. The mighty agencies that make for the king- dom are now here, resident in our humanity and they will not be withdrawn. Divine and omnipotent powers are at work in the world ; the infinite God is infinitely 210 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY at work at every moment of time in every part of His universe. Thus the workers in the kingdom are not weak ; they are not alone in their toil, for the whole power of God is pledged in behalf of the kingdom and its coming. They who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes are not the broken fragments of a forlorn hope. The Gospel of the crucified Christ is the most potent force that has ever been released into human society. Something can be done ; much can be done, every- thing can be done that God wants done and we are willing in His name to do. Valleys can be fiUed, hiUs can be levelled, stumbling-blocks can be taken up out of the way, demons can be cast out of society, the works of the devil can be destroyed, saloons can be closed, red light districts can be abolished, slums can be cleansed, political treasons can be rebuked and covenants with death can be annulled, the law of competition can be renounced and the law of cooperation can be estab- lished, straight paths can be made for men's feet, better and more Christian cities can be built, the weak can be buttressed and made strong, the conditions of human life can be renewed morning, noon and night, the re- sources of society can be held in trust for all its members, a moral atmosphere can be created for the growing and developing lives, social customs can be Christianized, a strong presumption can be created in favour of purity and honesty and sincerity, we can make it easier for men to do right and harder for men to do wrong. We may not be able to do everything at once, but something can be done. There is a marked difference between the better and the worse, and we can leave the worse and strive for the better. And any effort which wiU improve by a hair's breadth the THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 211 condition of a single human life is the translation into deed of some article of the Christian faith. Thus they who are seeking the kingdom of God and are building a Christian city know that they are working in line with the great purpose of God and realize that their labours are not in vain in the Lord. There is every reason why Christian people of all others should be interested and active in this work of social salvation. In every community there are many forms of social activity all seeking to abate some nuisance, to right some wrong, to better some section of the city and to ameliorate human conditions. Many of these men most active in these varied forms of effort are devoted members of the churches and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. But many of the men and women most active in these forms of social service confess no allegiance to Jesus Christ and have scant patience with the churches. This is not all, but as we have elsewhere noted, the doctrines of Socialism are spreading like wild-fire, and to millions of people So- cialism has become a religion that fiUs their hearts with an unbounded enthusiasm. In this time many men — some of them the best and truest people in our churches — find a grave danger in these various schemes. They aU propose to regenerate the world, we are told, without first regenerating men. They hope to build a golden society out of leaden men. These programs are very defective, we are assured ; they are materialis- tic and narrow ; and above all they lack a mighty religious impulse that can lift men out of themselves and send them out to spend and to be spent, in the service of righteousness and reform. In view of all this there is a double reason why Chris- 212 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY tian men with their larger ideal of the kingdom and with their motive of the love of Christ should take a double interest in aU forms of social service. Granted that many of these forms of social effort lack a high ideal and are without the religious motive; there is thus an added reason why Christian men should hold up the ideal of Christ and should seek to infuse the re- ligious spirit into efforts for social amelioration. Granted also that many of these efforts for social bet- terment are misdirected and really accomplish little lasting good ; then this is a second reason why Chris- tian men who confess that social wrongs abound and social conditions need changing, should show men the true direction of progress and should lead in the cam- paign for social betterment. Granted further that So- cialism as a program is somewhat materialistic and ignores great realms of human life ; then this is a third reason why Christian men with their larger program and their higher motive should out-serve the Socialists in their efforts to promote human welfare. The race is coming to social self-consciousness ; social questions are up for a hearing ; men are becoming concerned with the question of social progress ; the problem how we shall bring greater happiness and larger opportunity to all men is in a sense the social problem itself. Men are becoming interested in these questions, and they will discount both the intelligence and the religion of any man or any church that does not have an interest in these things. Men want light upon these problems, £l,nd they will have little patience with any institution, however venerable, that cannot give a sane and cour- ageous leadership. " The Church by its neglect of the social problem has lost much of its position as a leader THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 213 and guide of humanity. It will only regain it by rec- ognizing this question, and the solution of it, as a part of its evangel, as having their roots finally in the same spiritual principles as those which govern its formal theology." ' It will be a sad day for the Church and the world when Christian men allow themselves to be out-humaned by the humanitarians. It will bring a standing reproach against the name of Christ if Chris- tian men commit to outsiders — to unbelievers and ag- nostics often — the agitation of social wrongs and the struggle for social righteousness. It will be a great day for the Church and the world when Christian men frankly and f uUy accept this social task and resolutely set about its accomplishment. It will do more than a whole library of apologetics to reveal the essential na- ture of Christianity and to hold the allegiance of all men of good wUl. The frank acceptance of this social task by the churches will furnish the new credentials that are needed to-day ; it will enable men to discern the essential nature of Christianity and the real mean- ing of the Christian's commission ; it will cause young men to see visions and old men to dream dreams ; and it win result in new and splendid victories for the king- dom. In summary of aU that has been said, three things may be noted : 1. The final apologetic for Christianity must be the apologetic of results. It is easy for one to exaggerate certain aspects of the present crisis confronting the churches, but it is dangerous to underrate the seriousness of the present situation. " It is now universally admit- ted," says Professor Eucken, " that the modern world, > Brierley, " Our City of God," p. 4, 214 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY and the present time in particular, finds itself at many points in contradiction with Christianity ; but the true ex- tent of the opposition and the uncompromising character of the attack are still very far from being universally understood." ' The assault to-day is not concerned with any special doctrines of Christianity, but with the very value of Christianity itself ; the question at issue is not the priority of one denomination over another or the superiority of one shade of Christianity over others, but the very existence of Christianity itself. " If we are to cope effectively with the situation it is imperative that we should reaMze how the matter truly stands. Once our eyes are opened we shall see that no minor defenses can save us ; we shall cease to expect decisive results from the adoption of sectarian programs, however conscientiously the schemes are carried out."^ How can we meet this crisis ? How can we demonstrate the value of Christianity ? There is one answer, only one, which touches the heart of the problem : " The only way to prove any claim of theology is to show its vital relation to the crises of life. No one was ever con- vinced of the truths of religion in any other way, nor has any one who has believed them from this side lost his faith by mere ratiocination. If such a one has lost his faith it is because its vital contact with his Mfe has ceased and the work of reason is, then, simply to show that what is left is dead." ' " The so-called logical proofs of inspiration never convince any one, because when such proofs are offered in evidence that inspiration is now taken as a fact out of connection with the actual ^ " Christianity and the New Idealism," p. 113. » Ibid., p. 113. » King, " The Development ol Religion," p. 350. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 215 unfolding of experience. It is well known that no argument for the inspiration of the Scriptures, for im- mortality, or for the divinity of Christ is convincing to any one who does not believe in them already as facts of immediate experience." ' In the final count the valuations of Christianity in the minds of men will de- pend wholly upon its power to meet the present needs of the world. The world to-day cares little or nothing for our arguments and evidences based on prophecy and miracles ; the world has no interest whatever in our discussions of apostolic succession and church orders. The occupant of St. Peter's chair may issue his encyclicals, and church bodies may deplore the preva- lence of modern inquiry ; but such things simply pro- voke Olympian laughter and add to the weariness of the world. But the world cares everything for a truth that functions and has social potency ; the world listens to a Gospel that dissolves doubts and has dynamic re- lation to present problems ; the world is intensely in- terested in any institution that has real efficiency and produces social results. The religion of Christ can brook no rival, and it must be supreme or it is nothing. The Christian ideal must be the dominant and dominating ideal over aU life, or it is no ideal at aU. In what way, the world wants to know, can Christianity demonstrate its right to the throne of supremacy ? How can the Christian ideal gaia and hold the sceptre of authority ? There is only one way by which it can take and hold this sovereignty : It must become the dynamic and motive of the new social salvation. It must become the commanding synthesis which is able to marshal men in one army and ' King, "The Development of Beligion," p. 351. 216 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY send them forth to build on earth the city of God. That is, it can only win the passionate enthusiasm of the people as it unifies life and becomes the power of God unto social salvation. We do not need a new relig- ion ; we need not ponder in our hearts whether Chris- tianity is the religion the world needs or not. But we do need to recognize the essential nature of Christianity and to give the Gospel an opportunity to do its mighti- est works. We do need to bring the essential and un- waning powers of the Gospel into vital relation to the real life of to-day. " It is not our duty to fight for a new religion ; we have but to kindle into freshness of life the fathomless depths of Christianity. In so far as we succeed in doing this, we can completely satisfy the requirements of the new situation." ' I shall be told that Christianity has no vocation to transform the world, and the Scriptures nowhere promise that it shall do so. It is impossible here to discuss this question, and after what has been said in this study it is needless for me to attempt it. This is certain, however, that the Christian ideal is that of the kingdom of God on earth, a Holy City coming down from God among men. This is certain also, beyond peradventure, that the social question is here, and Christianity must either put us in the way of its solution or it must confess failure. This is certain, further, that we need some unifying and com- manding ideal which shall put meaning into the whole of life and dominate all the activities of society. They who would have us believe that Christianity has no vocation to save society are making it very hard for men to have any interest in Christianity. We do not ask that any religion shall present ready-made formulas, 1 Euckeo, " Cbristioiiity and the New Idealiam," pp. 148, 149. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 217 complete once for all, which shall solve every question before it is raised. At any rate we have no such formulas in Christianity and we need not look for them there. All that we do ask of any religion is that it shall meet the needs of men as they arise and solve their problems as they emerge. In so far as Christianity can succeed in these things to-day, that far it will com- pletely satisfy the requirements of the present situation. In so far as Christian men furnish the opportunity for Christianity to achieve its largest results will they offer the final evidences of Christianity to their day and gen- eration. 2. The final test of goodness is social serviceableness. According to the Gospels and the Acts the earliest Gospel, the Gospel which Jesus preached and Paul pro- claimed, was the Gospel of the kingdom.' The kingdom of God, we have seen, in an earlier chapter, was a great, human, social, all-inclusive ideal covering the whole life of man and contemplating a new society on earth. For a generation this was the Gospel that men preached and believed ; and in that time wonderful advances were made. But in the later New Testament writings we find that a change is coming over the thought of men ; the emphasis is slowly shifting from the idea of the kingdom to the idea of the Church ; the idea of the kingdom more and more faUs into the background while the idea of the Church moves into the foreground. Two processes go on side by side, though in a sense the two are one. In the one process, by imperceptible degrees, there grows up an institution called the Church, made up of believers and having a life and order of its own. It was inevitable that such a result should appear, and > Mark i. 14 ; Aote i. 3 ; xx. 25 ; xxviii. 23. 218 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY perhaps it was necessary. It was necessary that the Church should be and that it should differentiate itself from all other institutions. It was inevitable that an ever-widening gulf should appear between the Church and the world, for the Jewish people and the Roman government regarded Christians as sectaries and rebels. At any rate the time comes when Christians regard themselves as a people apart, " a third race " they were called ; the world was their enemy, how then could they love it ? Little by little, by imperceptible degrees and perhaps with little conscious purpose, a church in- stitution is formed with an organization, a life and order of its own. The time comes when religion is regarded as the special interest of the Church, and the Church is regarded as the special institute of religion. In the other process, at once as cause and effect of the process just named, there grows up a whoUy new conception of the Christian life. More and more it comes to be viewed as a thing apart from the common life, something that erects a barrier between the Christian and the world. By the middle of the second century we can mark the change that has come over the thought and life of men. In the Epistle to Diognetus we find that the Christian life has become a thing apart from the world ; now the Christian thinks of himself as a pilgrim and a stranger on earth ; " As citizens they share in aU things with others, and yet endure all things as foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers." * By the close of the fourth century the ascetic ideal was firmly established in the Church and accepted as the standard of the Christian life. Thus as a result > Chapter V. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 219 of these two processes the Christian life comes to be re- garded as something apart from the world of men and things ; religion becomes the special interest of an ecclesiastical institution ; goodness is measured by one's detachedness from the world and its concerns ; Chris- tians are called to serve the world as they pass through it on their way to the Celestial City, but they have no vocation to transform the world ; to grow in grace one must insulate himself from the world as much as pos- sible, and to become perfect he must reduce the points of contact with the world to the very lowest minimum. In two ways the prevalence of these conceptions has misplaced the emphasis of the Christian life. For one thing the Christian life has become too self-centred, too subjective, too other-worldly, too much occupied with escape for oneself. This is shown in the conceptions of sainthood that have arisen in the Church and have determined the ideals of men. The traditional saint of the middle ages, " the saint that we see on the walls of every picture gaUery in Europe, the saint that stiU haunts the imagination of hundreds of thousands of devout men who regard the Eomish apostasy with horror," is a starved and emaciated figure, with thin pale face, the eyes red with tears or weary with watch- ing, with transparent hands and wasted form.' The world to-day, Protestant no less than Catholic, is still mastered by the spell of the ancient tradition. We do not think of a man as a saint unless he is quiet and ascetic, with a subdued air and a far-away look in his eyes, and we have a little more confidence in his good- ness if he is somewhat melancholy. We do not think of a man as a saint at all if he has red rich blood and ■ Dale, " Laws of Christ (or Commou Life," p. 285. 220 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY a hearty laugh, or if he takes much interest in children — and politics. According to the Master addition not subtraction is the arithmetic of the kingdom. But according to the traditional conception of sainthood subtraction not addition is the arithmetic of the Chris- tian life. The conception of the means and methods of spiritual development has been almost whoUy subjective and self-regarding. It would be interesting and profitable to study the various rules prescribed for the guidance of the spiritual life and the promotion of Christian devotion. All through the middle ages devout and earnest men and women sought to grow in grace and to cultivate their spiritual life by withdrawing from the world and spending their days and nights in prayer and fasting, in vigils and meditation. Every day there came the same round of spiritual exercises, " repeating the Psalms at Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones and Compline, as ^ell as Matins and Yespers ; " each day witnessed the same incessant stream of words and the same round of prayers. In their efforts to grow in grace and attain spiritual power some souls deliberately broke aU the ties of life and retired to the lonely cell to spend the remainder of life in religious devotion. Others climbed a taU pillar sixty feet high, living on its narrow top for many years in summer and winter, and bowing themselves to their feet twelve hundred times every day. " What good to God or man ? " asks Brierley. " How weary heaven must be, if earth is not, of this everlasting repetition." ' It is true that in these manuals of devotion a large place is given to charity and service ; and every day there came to many I " The Common Life," p, 153. THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 221 of these saints the same round of services, feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, sometimes kissing the beggar's sores and giving one's coat to clothe the destitute. But we must not overlook the fact that much of this service was given not primarily for the good of the needy but to add to one's spiritual credit. There was no study of causes and no attempt to change social conditions. There is something beautiful in all this devotion and charity, as every one must admit. But after all what has come of it so far as the world is concerned ? Suppose that a tithe of the devotion and effort that have gone into these spiritual exercises had gone into the work of teaching the ignorant, removing the causes of poverty, improving social conditions and building better cities? In that case no nation of Europe after eighteen centuries of Christianity would be compelled to report ninety-five per cent, of its peo- ple illiterate ; and in that case the world might be at least a thousand years nearer the Golden Age. In the Christian centuries these conceptions have undergone many changes and modifications in both the Catholic and Protestant divisions of Christendom. But though changed and modified in many ways they yet continue to influence the thought and life of the Christian world. These conceptions are reflected in the various conceptions of saintliness and spirituality which prevail in the churches of to-day. And these concep- tions are woven into the very warp and woof of the devotional literature of the Church. The spiritual life, in the general conception of things, appears as some- thing apart from the ordinary human experiences of men ; it must be cultivated in isolation and seclusion ; to maintain a devout and spiritual and Christian frame 222 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY of mind one must have just as little as possible to do with the social and political interests of one's time and place ; at any rate interest in these things and efforts for their improvement, though necessary enough on the part of unspiritual and worldly men, are incompatible with a devout frame of mind and a spiritual temper of life. In support of this view it may be said that many of the people most honoured for their devout temper and saintly life have taken little interest in the social and political movements of their day and place. And it must be confessed also that many of the men one has known who are active and efBcient in the work of in- dustrial betterment and civic reform have lacked a cer- tain spiritual unction and devoutness of temper. This means that a crLsis has come in the religious life of many people ; and this demands a new conception of Christian goodness. The return to the earliest Gospel on the part of the Church and the restoration of the idea of the kingdom of God to its central place in the Christian life is the one thing that can bring men safely through this crisis. According to this conception the kingdom of God is as wide as the world and includes all the realms and relations of man's being. The search for the kingdom is the search after freedom, and justice and brother- hood in all the realms and relations of society. The measure of one's goodness is the degree of his social serviceableness. The man who is seeking holiness for his own sake is on the wrong track. The measure of one's sanctity is the degree of his social efficiency. That is, the Christian life to-day must be lived in the very thick of life's interests and struggles. The spirit- ual Hfe must temper and tone the relations amid which THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 223 one moves from day to day. The saintly virtues must be won and developed in the masterful interests of one's social and political life. It has been compara- tively easy for men to be devout and to grow spiritual detached from the world in pious exclusion. It may not be so easy for men to grow in grace and maintain a spiritual temper while interested in social reform and fighting for civic justice. The Christian spirit has proved its ability to develop the highest type of Chris- tian character and saintly life in the ascetic's ceU and the church enclosure. Can it now prove its ability to create the highest type of social goodness in the work of social service and civic betterment ? The time may have been when religion could be content to cultivate a narrow sphere and leave the wider world untouched. The time has been when the social reformer was con- tent to prosecute his task with no reference to religion and unaffected by the Christian ideal. But the time has gone by forever when such an attitude is longer tenable or Christian. To-day men who would be Chris- tian saints must live their deepest and highest life ia the work of social service. To-day the world of social service must become Christian through and through. This defines one of the most momentous crises con- fronting the Christian life to-day. And this suggests the most splendid opportunity that has ever come to men to illustrate the real nature and power of Chris- tianity. The time has been when the measure of one's saintly attainments was the measure of one's spiritual detachedness. The time is coming when the final test of one's Christian goodness vdll be the measure of his social serviceableness. 3. The essential Gospel is the Gospel of the king- 224 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY dom of God on earth. " The kingdom of God is at hand." Surely the time has come for all who call themselves Christians to believe this evangel and to make it a reaUty. In the United States there are over thirty-four million church-members — over thirty-five per cent, of the population — all professing faith in Jesus Christ and all praying for the coming of God's kingdom. Suppose these people were united in their efforts to abolish some of the great wrongs of the world, such as child labour, the liquor trafiic, poverty, the white slave trafiic and the red light district, city slums, the desecration of the rest day, municipal corruption and corporate oppression ? Sup- pose they should join hands in their efforts to secure justice for all, to provide playgrounds for children, to save boys and girls from a life of vice, to widen the door of opportunity for all, to build more sanitary cities, to give every life a true inheritance in society, to devise some system of labour copartnership and profit sharing, to make straight paths in the social life for men's feet, and to create a better and more moral atmosphere for all? How long would it be before these wrongs would be abolished and these ends secured ? Surely the time has come for the people who pray for the kingdom of God to unite in making that kingdom a fact. Suppose it were understood that it is the function of Christianity to unite men into one great fellowship of love and brotherhood and service, and then to mobilize them as one army for a campaign for the kingdom ? Suppose Christian men realized that their supreme business is to organize and create a just, fraternal, happy. Christian state on earth ? How long would it be before the streets of the New THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 225 City would be laid and the walls of the Holy City would begin to appear ? Surely, the time has come for the men who call Jesus Master to appraise anew the essential principles of the Gospel and to remember that Christianity is not the revealed art of escape from this world to some far-away heaven, but that it is rather the divine method of bringing heaven down to earth that it may be realized among men. Suppose they realized that Christianity is an incarnation, the divine dwelling in the human that it may transform it, the transfiguration of the dust of our humanity into the glory of the divine. How long would it be before earth would put her beauteous garments on and the streets of the city would be full of happy children singing : Hosanna, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the kingdom that cometh, the kingdom of our Father David. Hosanna in the highest. I am not blind to the consequences that may follow the preaching of the whole Gospel of the kingdom and the determined effort to make that Gospel a fact in the life of the world. The preachers of that Gospel may awaken the suspicion of men within the churches and perhaps the hatred of men without the churches. The workers in the kingdom may be regarded as dreamers of dreams where they are not treated as disturbers of the peace. It may be that such preaching and service will bring upon men the scorn of the smug and self- satisfied religionists of the churches; it may bring upon men the hatred of the unjust and powerful, who 226 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY oppress the widows by starvation wages and grind the faces of the poor by monopoly prices ; it may cost them the favour of those who grow fat on the toil of children, who make long prayers but practice the world's ethics ; it may mean that a testing time will come to some of the churches and many prophets may find themselves homeless. But if men hesitate on this account they will lose their power for service ; nay, they are already lost. Already a brilliant and dis- cerning Socialist has said : " It is the uncrucified Chris- tianity that speaks from the modern pulpit and sits in the church pews that is driving the passion for hu- manity into other channels than the Church." "Will the people calling themselves Christian believe the Gospel and fulfill their commission ? Will they accept the leadership of the social faith and mobilize men for the King's campaign ? Can they show that their faith in Christ is a bond of union and a principle of action ? Will they out-human the humanitarians and outserve the Socialists in their interest in man and their passion for justice? If so, they will have no difiiculty in proving that Christianity is of God and that Jesus Christ is the King of the world. If not they will dis- count every article of their Christian faith and will make it very hard for the world to have any interest in Christianity. The idea of the kingdom of God— the divine goal of the world and the supreme good of man — is both a protest and a confession. It is a protest against every- thing in the present social order that is unjust and un- brotherly, that is contrary to the will of God and is hurtful to man. It is a confession of faith in the divine order which God wills and wants established in THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 227 the earth ; it is the faith that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of Gpd. Christianity is not here to make men satisfied with things as they are ; it is here rather to make men dissatisfied with evil and to inspire them to arise and make things as they ought to be. Christianity is not here to show men how to escape from the city of destruction and get away to the Celestial City ; it is here rather to inspire men to labour and serve to transform the city of destruction into a City of God. The time has been when men thought of Christianity as " an ecstasy for the emo- tionalist, a walking dream for the abstractionist," some- thing having to do with saved souls in some other world, but as unrelated to saved lives here, something given to prepare men for heaven in some other sphere, but not designed to bring heaven down to earth that it may be realized among men, above all as something that primarily and chiefly concerns preachers and churches and Sundays but has little relation to common men, to civic affairs on week-days. The time has come for men to accept the Master's ideal of the kingdom of God, to follow a large and comprehensive program, to makeyesusChrist a fact not alone for the cloister and the prayer-meeting but in the actual and universal life of the world, and to build on earth a city that shaU be the realization of the Holy City. If there is an obliga- tion upon men to hold Christian principles, there is an equal obligation upon them to make those principles prevail. If it is a Christian's duty to cherish the ideal of a Christian social order it is no less his Christian duty to build a Christian social order. If it is right and proper for men to pray that God's kingdom may come and His will may be done on earth as in heaven, it is no less 228 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY right and proper for them to seek to have His will done and His kingdom built here and now. The Christian is hence bound by his very contract to agitate and serve and strive till every wrong is abolished, till righteous- ness is enthroned in human society in all its relations, till justice has become the daily practice of society in all its customs and institutions, till every human being has room enough for the f uU expression of his powers, till the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of God, and the Holy City of the seer's vision has be- come the reality of earth — Till upon earth's grateful sod, Bests the City of our God. BIBLIOQRA.PHY Eansohenbnaoh : " Christianity and the Social Crisis." Crooker : " The Church of To-day." Gladden : "The Church and Modern Life." Peabody : " Jesus Christ and the Social Question." Euoken : " Christianity and the New Idealism." Spargo : " The Spiritual Significance of Modern Socialism." Appendix THE SOCIAL SEEVIGE PEOGEAM Many things indicate that the ohnrches are beginning to realize their obligations to sooiety and are serionsly seeking to lead the social faith. The Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, rep- resenting thirty-five religious bodies and about twenty million mem- bers, has created a Social Service Commission charged with the duty ' ' to study social condition, to afiord by its action and utterance an expres- sion of the purpose of the churches of Christ in the United States, to recognize the import of present social movements and industrial con- ditions, and to cooperate in all practicable ways to promote in the churches the development of the spirit and practice of social service." This commission has issued a statement outlining some of the things for which the churches should stand. This platform and program has been accepted and ratified by a number of religious bodies in the country, as the Northern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian As- semblyi the Methodist Federation for Social Service and the Congrega- tional Council. The Chiiech and Modern Industry For equal rights and complete justice for all men in allstations of life. For the right of all men to the opportunity of self-maintenance,a right ever to be wisely and strongly safeguarded against enoroachmenta of every kind. For the right of the workers to some protection against the hardships often resulting from the swift crises of industrial change. For the principle of conciliation and arbitration in industrial dissen- sions. For the protection of the worker from dangerous machinery, occupa- tional disease, injuries and mortality. For the abolition of child labour. For such regulation of the conditions of toil for women as shall safe- guard the physical and moral health of the community. For the gradual and reasonable reduction of the hours of labour to the lowest practicable point, and for that degree of leisure for all which is a condition of the highest human life. 229 230 APPENDIX For a release from employment one day in seven. For the suppression ot the " sweating system." For a living vfage as a minimum in every industry and for the highest wage that each industry afEords. For the most equitable division of the products of industry that can ultimately be devised. For suitable provision for the old age of workers and for those inca- pacitated by injury. For the abatement of poverty. In addition the Social Service Commission of the Northern Baptist Convention issues a program for the Family and the Civic Community, The Chuech and the Family For home training for social living. For the single standard of purity. For the teaching of sex hygiene. For uniform divorce legislation and for stricter regulations of matri- mony. For sanitary homes and tenements and systematic inspection. For the abolition of overcrowding and the guaranteee of sufficient room for health and decency. For the preservation of the home against industrial invasion. The Chuegh and the Community For the suppression of vile shows, unclean literature and unfit posters. For the abolition of the liquor traffic, opium, cocaine and other habit- forming drugs. For the suppression of the red light district, the white slave traffic and sex diseases. For the suppression of gambling in all its forms. For the cleansing and prevention of oity slums. For the administration of justice with a saving purpose. For playgrounds and oity parks accessible to the people, For more rational and moral forms of amusement. For an investigation of civic conditions and for a civic plan. For civil service methods in all civic offices. For the active participation of men of good will in civio affairs. Index Age, its problems defined, 33 Aristotle, man a political being, 80 Arnold, Thomas, on reform and Christianity, 175 Apocalypse, quoted in victory of Christ, 97 Apologetic of results is final, 213 Atmosphere, its influence upon life, 164 Augustine, on the City of God, 66 Axioms of reform stated, 162 Bascom, on renewing opportuni- ties, 149 Batten, "The Redemption of the Unfit," 63; "The Christian State," 150; "The Church as the Maker of Conscience," 132 Beecher, Lyman, on perseverance of saints, 166 Bible, to be taught the people, 190 Booth, on life in London, 43 Brace, " Gesta Christi," 32 Brierley, defines social problem, 38 ; describes useless religion, 220; on contentment with the world, 176; on crisis of the Church, 184 Brooks, " The Social Unrest," 32 Brotherhood of the Kingdom, 10 Bruce, " The Kingdom of God," 83 ; says many Christians outside churches, 186 Bryce, describes church morality, 26 Bryden, on conditions in Africa, 25 Burbank, on training the child, 170 Bushnell, on cosmic effects of sin, S6 Calvin, his aim at Geneva, 120 Campbell, " Christianity and the Social Order," 83 Capital, by Marx quoted, 136 Carlyle, on unity of universe, 48 Causes, must be considered, 155 Children, playgrounds for in city, 148 Christendom, hinders mission work, 198 ; the Christianization of, 8 ; present condition, 22 Christian men, have social duty, 130 ; to build Christian society, 74; to lead in reform, 211 Christian spirit, created the Chris- tian family, 17 ; created the Church, 18 ; created the mis- sionary enterprise, 20 Christian social order, to be built, 118 Christianity, is ever new, 13 ; its achievements, 16 ; its real nature revealed, 200 ; new task defined, 82; not finished its work, 31; on trial to-day, 195 ; present crisis of, 7, 184 ; to be tested by fruits, 193 ; to inspire social ac- tion, 180 Christianization of Christendom, 8 Church, an agency of the kingdom, 1 10 ; created by Christian spirit, 18 ; compared with the kingdom, 66 ; does not include all life, 80 ; is not only institution of religion, 115; not seeking whole king- dom, 113; religion outside, 28; without a parish, 160 Churches, in best parts of the city, 160; must show their fruits, 191 ; to create an active conscience, 125 Cities, are they improving ? 156 ; conditions of modern, 24 ; re- proach of Christianity, 199 City, the Holy City on earth, 58 ; Christians no vision of, 90 231 232 INDEX Clarke, William, quoted, 60 Coleridge, on inspiration of Scrip- tures, 189 Conditions of human life, 143 Conscious effort to build Christian society, 118 Cooley, influence of group life, 169 Credentials of Christianity today, 188 Crime, has social causes, 61 Crisis, Christianity facing to-day, 7 Cromwell, his motto, 17 Crooker, on crisis of Church, 184 Dale, on mediaeval saints, 219 Dealey, on waste in reform, 91 ; " Sociology," 132 DeLaveleye, on best human order, 6 Demons, to be cast out, 96 Dewey, moral value of things, 167 Diognetus, on early Christians, 218 Drumraond, churches have stolen Christ, 201 DuBois, " The Natural Way," 183 Economic basis of spiritual life, •34 Emerson, on heroic world, 170 Enthusiasm needed today, 188 Environment influences man, 52, 166 Ephesians, quoted, on the body, 81 Eternal life, how understood, 66 Evidences of Christianity to-day, Eucken, on present crisis, 29, 214 ; kindling Christianity afresh, 216 Factors of human life, four, 133 Fairbairn, on purpose of Chris- tianity, 71 Family, the Christian type, 17 ; to be Christianized, 109 Farrar, describes Roman society, 16 Ferri, declares criminals defective, 144 Fichte, on organizing power of Christianity, 181 Fremantle, " The World as the Subject of Redemption," 83 Fruits, the final test of religion, 193 Gladden, « The Church and Mod- ern Life," 83 God, the living God, 14; the kingdom of God on earth, 68; speaking to-day, 176 Gospel, its own evidence, 187 ; is Gospel of the kingdom, 225 ; return to the earliest, 222 Grace of God, is it limited ? 51 Hall, G. Stanley, quoted on making personality, 50 Harnack, on the interest of Jesus, 204 Harrison, Frederic, need of social synthesis, 30 Healing, a part of Christ's min- istry, 94 Heath, "The Captive City of God," 132 Heaven, is a city, 58 Hebrews, quoted on Melchizedec, 127 Henderson, " Modern Methods of Charity," 63 Heredity, a factor in life, 133 Herodotus, describes Persians at prayer, 19 Hobson, "The Social Problem," 63 Horton, on eternal life, 106 Hughes, H. P., on Pentecostal blessing, 139, 141 Hunter, " Poverty," 32 Huxley, on life in East London, 24, 44 ; says social process may be guided, 147 Ideal needed to-day, 179 Individual effort a partial failure, 43 ,. , Individuality, how realized, 49 Individualistic effort not suf&cient, '54 . . Institutions to be Christianized, 107 Isaiah, on watchmen in the city, 161 James, Prof., on development of personality, 48; on influence of atmosphere, 172; on subcon- INDEX 233 scious mind, 171 ; pure air for all, 60 Jesus, His program, 93; throws emphasis on present, 202; to save the whole man, 102 ; out of place in modern city, 1 29 ; was an idealist, 129 Joel, on material blessing, 138 John, on the friends of Christ, 88 Justice, defined and described, 123 Juvenile Court, saves children, 148 Kelley, " Twentieth Century So- cialism," 183 Kellogg, " The Book of Leviticus," «43 Kidd, on the socially disinherited, 35 King, H. C, on the reality of re- ligion, 75 King, Irving, on proofs of inspira- tion, 214 Kingdom, a social ideal, 72 ; a so- ciety on earth, 77 ; different conceptions of, 66; more than good individuals, 128; the Chris- tian conception of, 69 ; what be- lief in it means, 174 LabriolA, on materialistic concep- tion of history, 1 36 Lankester, man is nature's rebel, 40 Lecky, " History of European Morals," 32 Lincoln and Davis, made by en- vironment, 169 Locke, on the end of government, 112 Locksley Hall, Sixty Years After, 25 London, condition of its poor, 44 Lord's Prayer, a social program, 93 Luther, his maxim, 17 Mackenzie, on individual and so- ciety, 59 Mark, Gospel of, quoted, 217 ; on the power of the Gospel, 99 Marshall, on poverty, 158 Martensen, on the person and the citizen, 57 Marx, Karl, on economic structure of society, 135 ; on the ideal of Socialism, 136 Mathews, " The Church and the Changing Order," 32 Maurice, on the true use of the Bible, 175 Melchizedec, King of Righteous- ness and Peace, 127 Men, why not interested in chui-ch, 207 Mill, J. S., on selfishness, 170 Milton, on effects of sin, 55 Missionary converts lack enthusi- asm, 205 Mosaic legislation, for present life, 137 Moss, on the unity of the universe, 47 Munger, " The Freedom of Faith," 143 New York, conditions of the poor, 44 Nordeau, on slum people, 145 Northrup, G. W., on Christ's pro- gram, 105 Obligation upon Christian men to-day, 227 Patten, " The Social Basis of Re- ligion," 83 Paul, on Adam's sin, 53 ; on hu- manity as a body, 78 Peabody, " Jesus Christ and the Social Question," 228 People alienated from the churches, 45 Perfect man in the perfect society, 74 Philanthropy, problems now facing, 42 Poverty may be abolished, 153 Program of Christianity, its ele- ments, 153 Program needed today, 85 ; of social salvation, 84; too nega- tive, 88 ; to be followed today, 92 234 INDEX Rauschenbusch, " Christianity and tlie Social Crisis," 83, 184 Relations, man a being of rela- tions, 77 ; to be adjusted, I2i Religion outside the churches, 28 Richards, Timothy, meaning of conversion, 75 Riis, " How the Other Half Lives," 24 Ritschl, Christianity is essentially social, 71 ; on ideal of the king- dom, 86 Romans, Epistle to quoted, on sin, Ross, on social interference, 39 Rothe, on Jesus' interest in social question, 204; says Christianity is least immutable, 12 Ruskin, making a better world, 208; on Bishop, 178; on lack of moral passion, 125 Saints in modern world, 223 Saleeby, " Parenthood and Race Culture," 132 Salvation, different conceptions of, 100; of the whole man, 76, 100 ; the problem of social salvation, 61 Samaritan, down to date, 163 Sanday, on need of freshness, 201 Saved life demands safe environ- ment, 157 Savonarola, his vision of city, 1 20 Scotland, housing conditions in, 44 Serviceableness test of religion, 217 Sidis, " The Psychology of Sugges- tion," 183 Small, on crisis in morals, 29 Smith, George A., economic prob- lem is Christian, 142 ; effects of sin on world, 55 ; prosperity and religion, 138 Social action, the method, 133; Christianity is needed, 212; problem considered, 34 ; recon- struction is necessary, 150; sal- vation required social action, 152; task defined, 82; workers, not exclusive, 151 Society needs saving, 151 Solidarity defined and illustrated, 47,60 Somerville, on the solidarity of hu- manity, 54 Spargo, "The Spiritual Signif- icance of Modern Socialism," 228 Spencer, on destruction of the unfit, 39; quoted on happiness, 60 Sphinx, sitting by roadside, 33 Spirit at work in the world, 15 Spiritual life not isolated, 74 State to be Christianized, 112 Strong, " The Challenge of the City," 63 ; " The Nexf Great Awakening," 132 Subconscious life important, 171 Threshold of consciousness, 171 Trocadero, scene in recently, 185 Unfit, the preservation of, 38 Union of all who love, 181 Victories for the kingdom to-day, 209 Von Hase, on the lack of the age, 29 Ward, L. S., " Applied Sociol- ogy," 132; on influence of en- vironment, 144 Ward and others, " Social Min- istry," 83 Wernle, early Christians were rebels, 174 Wesley, on solitary religion, 73 Westcott, describes the Church, ill Whitman, "There was a child went forth," 168 TIMELY ESSAYS AND ADDRESSES J. H. JOWETT The Transfigured Church lamo, cloth, net $1.25. "In Dr. Jowett we lose the greatest living master of the homiletic art. We lose one of the most powerful and deeply instructed among evangelical preachers. We lose one of the wisest, _ most inspiring and most trusted of our leaders. There is, however, no use in disguising the fact that it is ©nly with the utmost stretch of magnanimity that we compel ourselves not to grudge him to our American friends." — The British Weekly. 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